Apple VR/AR headset shipments could be delayed until 2024

Renderings of the rumored Apple VR/AR headset
(Image credit: Concept Central/YouTube)

While the Apple VR/AR headset is expected to launch at today’s WWDC, the headset isn't likely to be available for purchase until later in the year. And now, it could be even longer before you get your hands on Apple's new headset.

Prominent Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is now projecting that the Apple headset won't begin mass shipments until late Q4 2023 (October to December) — or even early 2024. They also say that shipments in 2023 may be lower than expected but that Apple investors aren't particularly worried about it as long as today's announcement is a hit.

First, the good news. If Kuo is right, there's still no reason to expect Apple will delay the announcement of its new mixed-reality headset, which could be called the Apple XR or the Apple Reality Pro. There's also no expectation that Apple will further delay you from being able to order the headset later this year.

However, it looks like once you order the headset, you may be stuck playing the waiting game. We had already been expecting that shipments could be coming late in the year. A recent report from Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring had tipped the Apple Reality Pro release date for December, with mass production to kick into high gear sometime in October. Now Kuo says to temper those expectations even further, suggesting that you may not even be able to get the headset until early next year.

Of course, none of this is a guarantee. Kuo at one point projected that Apple would ship the Apple VR/AR headset at the end of 2022. Obviously, that didn't happen, as it's now June 2023 and the headset still hasn't even been officially announced. So as always, take these rumors with a grain of salt.

Still, it does seem like if you order the Apple mixed reality headset you shouldn't expect to receive it in time for the holidays. Most likely, this is not going to be an easy-to-get virtual reality headset, even if you can afford the expensive $2,000 - $3,000 rumored price tag. But hopefully, we should know a lot more in a few hours. So make sure to follow our WWDC 2023 live blog now for the latest Apple headset news and all the big announcements from Apple.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.