The Apple VR/AR headset might be coming later than previously believed. A new analyst report claims Apple's rumored mixed reality headset could be delayed until 2023, doubting earlier tips the device would launch by the end of this year.
While it's certainly possible we'll see iOS 16 confirm Apple's AR/VR headset is on the way, analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities said the headset reveal may be pushed to early next year in a note seen by 9to5Mac.
That conflicts with insights about the Apple VR/AR headset release date from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, though Bloomberg tipster Mark Gurman has also suggested the device might not be ready by the end of this year. Gurman claimed Apple may push back the actual shipment of the headset, though some kind of announcement could still happen in the fall.
Apple VR headset: How it could stand out
According to Pu, Apple will sell up to 1.5 million units of its first mixed reality headset in its first year and rely on an in-house chip to stand out from all the best VR headsets currently on the market, like Meta's Oculus Quest 2. It could be powered by a version of the rumored Apple M2 chip or another product of the Apple Silicon initiative.
The final bit of intel from Pu's note states the headset will pack a combination of 10 sensors of cameras pulled from a variety of Apple parts suppliers.
Beyond this latest rumor, we expect the headset will arrive before any sort of Apple Glasses, which should be more wearable on a day-to-day basis. As for price, Mark Gurman previously said the mixed reality headset could cost more than $2,000.
Gurman earlier reports also say the headset will have gesture tracking and up to three displays, including two Sony 4K 4000 x 4000 displays. Meanwhile, Ming-Chi Kuo said the headset will offer Wi-Fi 6E support, allowing low latency data transfer to another device without needing a physical cable. Wi-Fi 6E could also benefit battery life.
Beyond the iPhone: Apple's next big thing
Whether it's targeted for entertainment, working out with Apple Fitness Plus, remote working or something more catch-all, Apple's VR/AR headset will be considered one of the company's biggest announcements to date. And it could certainly eclipse the iPhone 14 in terms of excitement, because it would be an entirely new product category for Apple.
Several Apple executives have expressed interest in mixed reality over the years, and while adding LiDAR sensors to iPhones and iPads welcomed new possibilities Apple has yet to debut dedicated AR/VR hardware.
Just don't hold your breath to see a headset at WWDC 2022, which is taking place on June 6. That said, the software-heavy keynote could give some clues about what's next for Apple when it comes to AR and VR, via iOS 16.