Apple may not start production on its upcoming AR / VR headset until the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note sent to investors. This would likely result in the device being launched in late 2022 or early 2023.
Before the launch of the headset, Apple wants to have “complete software, ecosystem and services”, which Kuo states as the reason why Apple could plan to delay mass production from the second quarter of 2022 to the end of 2022.
According to Kuo, Apple has the “best industrial design solutions” for an AR / VR headset due to the complexity of the headset and the need for a comfortable fit. Kuo also believes that Apple has more of a design challenge ahead of it because the company wants to go beyond games with AR / VR software.
AR / MR HMD requires much more industrial design requirements than smartphones because the comfort of wearing them involves so many design details. Therefore, we believe that Apple continues to test the best industrial design solutions to date.
The key to HMD’s success lies in the software, the ecosystem and the service. We believe that Apple is positioning its HMD for various applications, not just gaming applications, so the challenge of building software / ecosystem / services is significantly higher than current products / competitors.
In general, Kuo expects head-mounted screens to lead to the “next wave of user interface revolution” much like multi-touch on the iPhone. Apple will be able to change the market consensus that this kind of AR / VR devices are mainly for gaming, as the company “is the most capable of developing and promoting various applications.”
Kuo previously said that the AR / VR headset would be launched in the second quarter of 2022, and before that he thought the headset would come out sometime in 2021.
Rumor has it that Apple’s AR / VR headset is similar in design to the Oculus Quest, but with a slimmer look that uses fabrics and lightweight materials for a comfortable fit.
It is rumored that the headset contains two 8K screens in high resolution that can be micro-OLED and a whole lot of cameras for eye detection, head detection and other augmented reality features. The headset will depend on the iPhone, and Apple is rumored to be experimenting with more input methods.
Apple is also working on a set of smart glasses, but the smart glasses are expected to be launched after the headset, which will be Apple’s first head-mounted AR / VR device. More details are available in our AR / VR roundup.