Kuo: Apple AR/VR headset development behind schedule, expect late fall release

After years of speculation, it seems that 2023 is finally the time for the official unveiling of the first Apple AR/VR headset. But exactly when this year remains unclear.

Latest schedule according to to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is reportedly setting the headset up for a late fall release window. Kuo says software development tools and ongoing drop-test issues mean the device is unlikely to be announced this spring or summer (WWDC?), with a late fall release on the cards.

Earlier, Kuo had predicted a January media event for the headset. But his latest tweets indicate that Apple is still working on finalizing the software tool so developers can create apps for the new platform.

That said, this is not necessarily a roadblock to an announcement. Apple could always reveal the headset earlier and make developer tools available at a later date. (Remember that the Apple Watch was first announced at a media event in September 2014; a watchOS developer SDK was published a few months later. The Apple Watch eventually went on sale in April 2015.)

Perhaps more significant is Kuo’s claim that the headset also experiences mechanical issues during drop testing. This is the kind of problem that Apple probably wants to fix, or at least nail down, before announcing the product in earnest.

Earlier this week, The Information summarized its latest beliefs about exactly what the headset will be. This includes the news that Apple may require AirPods to be used as audio output when conducting privacy-sensitive conversations, such as during video conferencing activities.

In general, the first Apple mixed reality headset is expected to be expensive and premium, with dozens of cameras and sensors, dual 4K displays, M2-based SoC and a price tag above $2000.

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