Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset, which will reportedly offer a combination of augmented and virtual reality experiences, “will likely be released in January 2023,” according to respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a new analyst note seen by 9to5MacKuo notes that the headset is “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed,” but that its release could contribute to the “rapid growth” in the head-mounted display market.
This is far from the first time Kuo has predicted when Apple’s headset could be released, but previous predictions had much wider release windows. Last year he said we might see the headset released sometime in 2022 (which now seems unlikely), and just this month he predicted that at some point in the… second quarter of next year† This doesn’t guarantee an announcement in January (Apple’s plans could change, or Kuo’s supply chain sources could be wrong), but listing a specific month is a strong vote of confidence from the analyst.
It also coincides with a lot of reported headset activity at Apple. The company’s board of directors has reportedly tried the headset at the beginning of Maylistings of the headset’s RealityOS software are show up in Apple’s code and appear in trademark applicationsand Apple CEO Tim Cook recently teased upcoming augmented reality announcements.
Numerous reports over the years have attempted to shed light on Apple’s elusive headset. It will reportedly work as a standalone device rather than needing to be tethered to a computer, and it could have as many as 14 cameras to track its movement, according to a recent study. report in The information† Internally, it reportedly has a processor with a comparable amount of processing power to M1 chips found in recent Macs, but when it comes to power, it’s unclear whether the battery can be worn on the user’s body or built into the headset itself.
While Kuo predicts that Apple is about to make a big leap into the mixed reality headset space, he expects its main competitor Meta to step back, 9to5Mac reports. Kuo expects the company, formerly known as Facebook, to reduce its investment in VR hardware in the near term to focus on its advertising business. That’s despite the fact that Meta recently showed off a a large number of prototypes of VR headsets it works on.