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Apple VR/AR headset skipped WWDC 2022 — but could be revealed in January

apple mixed reality headset render
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

Update: Where the heck is Apple's AR/VR headset? It's still coming in January, Ming-Chi Kuo says

The WWDC 2022 keynote has been and gone, bringing with it a bunch of cool new products and announcements from Apple HQ. One thing that didn’t get announced was the Apple VR/AR headset. So when is that headset going to arrive? We’re now looking at sometime in early 2023 as the main possibility.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tweeted (opens in new tab) out a pretty precise timeline on when Apple’s mixed reality headset might arrive. If Kuo is correct, the final touches will happen in Q3 2022, followed by a media event in January 2023 and hitting Apple Store shelves before the next WWDC.

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It had been speculated that the Apple headset could've be revealed at WWDC, even if rumors suggested that it wouldn’t arrive until next year. Kuo and others recently downplayed the possibility, since the headset is still supposed to be a long way off. 

Interestingly Kuo notes that the headset was originally expected to arrive in Q1 2023. But evidently Shanghai lockdowns have affected development, and pushed the release back even further.

As to why the headset wasn’t revealed, or even teased at the WWDC keynote, Kuo has had words to say in the past. He previously noted that unveiling the headset too early would give Apple’s competitors time to copy the headset and its software, and launch their own copycats. Apple also isn’t one to talk about upcoming products until they’re ready, for a variety of reasons. At the very least it avoids potential embarrassment, as happened with AirPower.

The headset is still something of a mystery. From what we’ve heard so far, the device will offer virtual reality experiences and see-through augmented reality capabilities. A stepping-stone towards the fully-fledged AR Apple Glasses, giving consumers and developers time to acclimatise to what is still very niche tech.

More recently we’ve been hearing stories about the development process, and the fact there has been resistance to the project from some Apple employees — particularly with regard to screen time and child safety. However, Apple sounds like it’s going all in, even going so far as to recruit Hollywood directors to produce content for the headset.

But the question has always been when the headset would actually arrive. Now, it seems we may have a good idea of when that might be. Provided there aren’t further delays, related to either the ongoing supply chain mess or COVID-19 outbreaks. It sounds like we just need to worry about the price, which rumors claim could be anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.