Apple has reportedly pushed back the planned introduction of its first mixed-reality headset from April to June.
According to Bloomberg, the headset will now make its debut at this year’s WorldWide Developers Conference. News around Apple’s leap into the world of mixed reality has been doing the rounds for some time now. There was news of an AR/VR headset back in 2015 and then we heard that it would launch by the end of 2022.
Here we are in February of 2023 and still, there’s no headset from Apple. However, despite pushbacks, it seems that we may finally get a look at the new product during WWDC. Leaks last year shared possible new details on the headset, noting that it is made of aluminium, carbon fibre and glass. The leaks also noted that the device would be lightweight and compact, supporting a 120-degree field of view.
Mixed-reality debut for Apple
While no dates for the WWDC event are confirmed yet, the event is likely to take place in June. Delays for the headset are apparently due to hardware and software issues that are still undergoing work. Apple is yet to officially speak on the matter.
The product is expected to offer users a full mix of virtual and augmented reality experiences, blurring the lines between the real and digital worlds. Reports claim that the device will utilise an operating system that is similar to that of the iPhone interface, which would make perfect sense given how familiar people are with that display.
Keeping in mind that if these claims are true and the product is showcased in June, that doesn’t mean it will be ready for release. It could still be a long wait until users can get their hands on a new Apple product. Given the rising popularity of VR and AR technology, it would seem likely that the company would aim to release before the end of 2023, as the space is becoming increasingly competitive with the likes of Samsung joining forces with Qualcomm and Google to create a mixed-reality platform.
The Bloomberg report also states that Apple may have plans to price the headset at… Wait for it… $3,000. Which is an incredibly pricey piece of equipment. The Meta Quest Pro headset has often come under fire for its $1,499 price tag, and although Apple’s product is a mixed reality experience it’s still a large sum of money. While this figure may not turn out to be true, given the price of other Apple products and just the popularity of the brand name, it’s not a impossible.
A huge issue standing in the way of wider adoption of these VR and AR experiences stems from the affordability of hardware. For many, spending hundreds or even thousands on a headset given the current cost of living crisis across much of the world isn’t ranking high on the list of priorities.
However, it will be interesting to finally see what Apple has been working on and if it could warrant such a price tag. With years in the making, Apple will be looking to impress and possibly take the mixed reality experience to the next level.