Apple has been speculated to be developing a mixed reality (MR) headset for quite some time now. This headgear would combine elements of both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Ming-Chi Kuo, a seasoned industry analyst who often has a good handle on Apple news, tweeted that the AR/VR headset’s release date has been pushed back because of specific hardware testing and the availability of software development tools.
That might push the delivery window into July, August, or September of 2023, instead of the previously expected second quarter. This year’s first half had been suggested by previous leaks, including one from Kuo, as the timeframe for the device’s release.
When it comes to success, timing is essential
Apple may yet choose to reveal the product months in advance of its release. According to Kuo, “depending on the present development process,” the product might be unveiled either in March or at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
There won’t be many buyers for an expensive AR/VR headset if there’s nothing interesting that can be done with it, so convincing software developers to support the new gear is essential.
Earlier rumours suggested that Apple’s future operating system would be called realityOS, however this is far from confirmed. After years of anticipation, it will be interesting to see what Apple has really accomplished with the headgear.
Change of magnitude for Apple
It’s easy to take Apple’s vast manufacturing operation for granted, since the company cranks out millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other pieces of hardware every single month with relatively few hiccups.
Moving into a new market segment, such as augmented reality/virtual reality headsets (or automobiles), is more difficult. There are new moving parts and procedures to learn, and that’s before we even consider whether or not anyone will really buy the product.
The Apple Watch was the company’s last brand-new product reveal instead than an upgrade to an existing model. After a shaky introduction, Apple’s wearable was well received by customers and is now a mainstay of the company’s product lineup.
Apple’s augmented reality/virtual reality headgear is, like the wristwatch, an experimental product. It’s not a crowded market for existing gadgets in this category, giving Apple a better chance to establish ground rules for the future of mixed reality.
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