Apple’s ‘most complicated product’ heads to launch, analyst says

The Apple Computers Store in Sydney, Australia

Image: Phillip Danze/Getty Images

Apple is likely to announce its mixed-reality headset in January 2023, according to tech analyst and Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo made the prediction as part of an analysis of the broader virtual-reality (VR) headset market, saying Apple’s kit will be a “game changer” that will have competitors mimicking it as they catch up. The device will also boost the demand for immersive gaming and multimedia entertainment.

According to Kuo, who gathers insights about Apple’s future products through supply chain controls, Apple’s technology would support “video see thru” functionality for an “excellent immersive experience.”

TO SEE: Metaverse: Momentum Grows, But Companies Remain Cautious

apple wash rumored to be announcing its headset at the developer conference in June, but the event passed without mentioning an AR device – just some improvements to its ARKit. Apple reportedly has an advanced prototype, but it’s not ready to unveil it to the world yet.

Past Reports have also suggested 2023 as the likely release timeframe for the headset† Apple recently registered trademarks for its “RealityOS” or rOS. The device will also be packed with sensors.

Kuo predicts that Apple’s headset would be a “game changer” for existing players, including Sony, Microsoft, Valve, HTC and especially Facebook’s parent company Meta.

“Apple AR/MR would be the most complicated product Apple has ever designed, so many existing suppliers are also part of the Apple AR/MR supply chain,” Kuo wrote.

Apple’s significant competitive advantages over rivals also mean it doesn’t have to join the recently founded Metaverse Standards Forum whose members are Meta, Microsoft, Alibaba, Huawei, Qualcomm, Sony, IKEA and Wayfair.

“After Apple launches the AR/MR headset, I think Apple’s global rivals will compete to imitate it, taking the headset hardware industry to the next stage of rapid growth and the related services and content- ecosystem will benefit”, wrote Kuo

He also notes that Meta is cutting its investments in VR hardware due to the recession. Also, Meta has reduced orders for VR headsets “due to the risk of a recession caused by structural challenges in its core advertising and social platform business (e.g. changes to iPhone privacy policy).”

Meta’s current strategy of selling its headsets at a loss is unsustainable given the risk of the economic slowdown hitting its core businesses.

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