Apple AR/VR headset likely to release in January 2023, insider predicts

Apple’s first AR/VR headset could hit stores around this time next year. That’s according to a prediction by well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. a few weeks ago. The analyst is back with a more detailed look at the current augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) industry, as many of Apple’s rivals develop their own next-generation wearable smart glasses.

This is where the analyst repeated his claim that Apple will likely release mixed reality headset in January 2023, a prediction that goes along with his previous remark. But don’t expect to buy the first Apple AR/VR headset in stores in January.

Kuo wrote a blog post rather than a Twitter thread to detail his vision for the VR industry.

Over the past few days, Kuo has pointed out more than once on Twitter that Facebook (now Meta) is slowing down investment in its next-gen VR headsets, which could lead to launch delays. This was just days after Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated some of the technologies Meta is developing for its upcoming AR/VR headsets.

Kuo further elaborated on Meta’s interest in the AR/VR space in the blog post, saying the company has been selling VR headsets at a loss for the past few years. But it helped the company promote VR devices and encouraged people to buy them.

Accordingly, Kuo said Meta’s intention to slow down development will not hinder the growth of the virtual reality industry.

The AR/VR headset industry will continue to grow

Moreover, Meta is not alone in developing AR/VR headsets. Besides the new entrant Apple, we have established players in the industry. The list includes HTC, Microsoft, Sony and Valve. Then there is also the VR headset manufacturer Pico, which is a leading brand in China.

Kuo said the continued growth of the VR industry is a clear trend, with all of these companies expected to ship more headsets this year. And Apple is “a game-changer for the headset industry.” Kuo believes that the likely release of the Apple AR/VR headset in January 2023 will promote the continued growth of the industry.

PlayStation VR2 headset and Sense controllers.
PlayStation VR2 headset and Sense controllers. Image source: Sony

The analyst repeated his previous remarks on Apple’s revolutionary AR/VR headset. He has said in the past that many of Apple’s rivals will copy the hardware and software of the mixed reality (MR) device. as soon as it comes out. He also explained recently that he expects the headset to seamlessly transition from AR to VR, a feature not available on VR-only devices:

Although Apple has repeatedly reiterated its interest in augmented reality, I think Apple AR/MR supporting seamless video could also provide a great immersive experience. Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further increase the demand for immersive multimedia games/entertainment.

Apple AR/VR headset release date

Kuo also noted that Apple’s AR/VR device will be the “most complicated product” the company has ever made. Therefore, many existing vendors also want to be part of the AR/VR headset supply chain.

Additionally, Kuo said “Apple is an industry leader with significant competitive advantages and does not need to join the Metaverse Standards Forum now.”

After the release of the Apple AR/VR headset, Kuo believes that “Apple’s global rivals will vie to imitate it, leading the headset hardware industry to the next stage of rapid growth and benefiting services and the ecosystem. associated content”.

Render of Apple Mixed Reality Glasses - side view.
Render of Apple Mixed Reality Glasses – side view. image sources: Ian Zelbo

Kuo’s comments make sense. Apple generally sets the tone for any industry it enters. Although it is not the first company to produce a specific product. That is why The absence of Apple of the forum should surprise no one. Many of these companies will likely try to replicate Apple’s devices.

As for that likely January 2023 release for the AR/VR headset, that’s just speculation. Even if accurate, Kuo is likely referring to Apple’s launch event for the product, not the in-store release. The analyst recently said that Apple may unveil the AR/VR headset at an event in early January 2023.

The AR/VR headset will be available to developers in the weeks following the event. But commercial pre-orders would only start in the second quarter of 2023 in such a scenario. Apple’s AR/VR headset will then get a May or June in-store release date.

While we wait for Apple to announce mixed reality glasses, here’s what Meta has been working on.

More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 Guide.

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