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Apple’s AR/VR headset will arrive in January 2023, according to analyst projects

Apple's AR/VR headset will arrive in January 2023, according to analyst projects
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An early augmented reality demo from Apple using a smartphone instead of a headset.
Enlarge / An early augmented reality demo from Apple using a smartphone instead of a headset.

Tech industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made the most specific prediction yet about a release date for an Apple augmented reality/virtual reality headset: January 2023.

Kuo has often made accurate, informed predictions about Apple’s plans in the past, based in part on information from sources in the company’s supply chain. On Thursday he published a lengthy analysis of the VR headset industry and predicted that Apple’s device will “probably” arrive in January.

Kuo called the headset “the most complicated product Apple has ever created,” noting that many current Apple suppliers are involved in the supply chain for the product. He also backed other recent leaks and speculation that the upcoming headset won’t be solely or primarily geared towards augmented reality (which places virtual options in real space) rather than virtual reality (which immerses the wearer in a fully virtual space).

Kuo echoed other recent reports, noting that the device would support “Video See-Thru” and allow switching between modes. As such, he predicted the headset would be a boon to the immersive gaming industry.

The analysis was not exclusive to Apple’s headsets and covered other parts of the VR/AR industry. It pointed to several weaknesses in the mixed reality business at Meta (which owns Oculus headsets as well as Facebook and Instagram). He wrote that Meta is slowing down its investments, creating an opportunity for up-and-coming competitors like Apple. He further suggested that Meta’s practice of selling VR headsets at a loss is unsustainable, a fact that could add to Apple’s chances.

reports out Bloomberg and other reliable sources have already claimed that Apple is in the late stages of testing and preparing the device, citing a broader release window of 2023.

Additionally, Apple CEO Tim Cook stoked the flames in an interview earlier this week with speculation of an AR/VR headset China Daily USA:

I’m incredibly passionate about AR, as you may know. And the essence of any technology, including AR, is to put humanity at the center… But I think we’re still in the very early stages of developing this technology. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space and stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer.

A series of inside stories from The information painted last month a picture of the development of the device, and said it has undergone several developments as Apple leadership internally debated the best way forward. According to the reporting, it’s a standalone wearable concept that uses a variant made by Apple recently shipped M2 chip won a more powerful device that would have needed a base station.

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