UPDATED: Apple Reportedly Seems Unsure About Its New Mixed Reality Headset

Economic concerns might be to blame

UPDATE 4/3/2023

In dueling predictions, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggested in his PowerOn newsletter on April 2 that Apple will announce its new mixed reality headset at WWDC ’23. Gurman says, “the company knows that everyone is anticipating this headset — including Wall Street — and it wouldn’t want to further stoke expectations if it couldn’t meet them.” However, the announcement of the project doesn’t necessarily mean it will be available for purchase before next year.

Supply chain analyst predicts that Apple may once again delay its long-awaited mixed-reality headset, nicknamed the Apple Reality Pro, until later in the year. 

The news comes from respected industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a stellar track record with Apple predictions. Kuo blames the delay on a number of internal and external concerns, such as an economic downturn, the readiness of the software ecosystem, and a general lack of optimism among the marketing staff. 

Apple Delays MR/AR Headset

Unsplash / Bram Van Oost

Kuo goes on to say that the marketing team does not believe the headset has what it takes to create an "iPhone moment," referring to the original launch of the iPhone. Kuo also says that the purported sticker shock could have influenced Apple to delay the headset, as it is rumored to cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000. That's like four decked-out iPhones. 

The report indicates that assembly has been pushed back one or two months to mid-to-late 2023 and that the shipment forecast has been drastically reduced from 500,000 units to 200,000 to 300,000 units. 

Many Apple fans had assumed that the mixed-reality headset would finally be officially unveiled in June at this year’s WWDC conference, but that has now been thrown into doubt. We’ll find out on June 5, when the event begins.

There is no way around it. This has been a pretty rough year for the VR/AR/MR space, with headset sales down and Meta scaling back its Metaverse plans. The technology has massive potential, however, so we will have to keep an eye on the industry for signs of renewed life.

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