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Apple's Entrance into AR Sees Delays

Software slows down Apple's new MR release

Photo by Amr Taha™ / Unsplash

Apple's much-anticipated move into mixed-reality has been delayed yet again. Their MR headset, yet to be named, could potentially be pushed from Q2 2023 to the second half of next year, as predicted by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Mixed Reality Mix-Up

Significant delays have only upped the anticipation, with many still speculating on the device's specifications. Apple has been in the spotlight recently, and reports suggest their new operating system xrOS will power the device–as well as others to come, including a smart ring.

The headset, combining both AR and VR, was expected to be launched significantly sooner. However, given consistent delays due to a cited unspecified 'software' issue, it's been pushed back yet again.

Originally, Bloomberg had predicted the wearable device would be gracing our heads some time around now, with analyst Kuo suggesting it would be earlier, around the middle of this year. Of course, that never came to pass, and Apple never even announced so much as a press release or update on the hardware's development.

Kuo, however, says that it “still needs to be determined” whether the announcement of the headset will be moved. If they were to announce it at a special event in January 2023, it would be its first of its kind since announcing the iPad way back in 2010–which seems a touch unlikely.

High-End Specs

There's a good chance that Apple's foray into the new tech will be a niche product, with less than 500,000 units shipped–as per Kuo–while others expect approximately 1m units to be shipped worldwide. As a brand-new product for Apple, delays are expected, so we shouldn't be holding our breath for any upcoming updates.

Nevertheless, we can expect the first release–whenever that comes–to have pretty solid specs. We do know the product will make use of Apple's M2 chip, and is likely to feature 10+ cameras both inside and out for eye-tracking and AR features. Currently, all the hype and anticipation surrounding the headset seems to point to a price range between $2,000 and $3,000.

While the release date is up in the air, one thing's for certain: Apple is likely to adopt a similar strategy to now-rival Meta by developing productivity apps that improve workflows. While B2B solutions will be part of their overall approach, however, expect to see an expensive but consumer-friendly device be officially announced over the next few years.