Updated February 15, 2023 6:06 PM EST
Apple has pushed back the projected launch date for a new mixed reality headset from April to June, according to Bloomberg, in the latest setback for the tech giant, which hasn’t launched a major new product line since the Apple Watch in 2015.
on September 12, 2018 at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. (Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images)MediaNews Group via Getty Images Key Facts
Apple developers are now reportedly hoping to debut the headset at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference after canceling a spring launch due to ongoing testing issues.
The most pressing issues still being worked on, according to Bloomberg, are sensor issues affecting the eye and hand control mechanism and battery life.
The headset is expected to offer a mix of full virtual reality and augmented reality – which overlays digital information on top of a user’s real-world experience – and will reportedly use a new operating system similar to an iPhone interface.
Plenty of concerns have also been raised about the headset’s rumored $3,000 price tag, which Bloomberg says is a by-product of using expensive materials like numerous cameras and 4K displays.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
Some within the company are reportedly concerned about the market Apple is entering, given the tens of billions Meta has invested in the Metaverse and virtual reality with little commercial success. Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly criticized Meta’s and other big tech companies’ approach to headsets, saying last year, “I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the Metaverse is.” Instead, Cook predicted, that augmented reality will be the real game changer, calling it “a profound technology that will affect everything”. Apple executives are betting that the headset will be the company’s biggest new revenue stream since the launch of its smartwatch, though it hopes tweaks to some of its longstanding staple products could also boost sales. Bloomberg reported last month that the company is working on bringing a touchscreen MacBook to market, though co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs strongly opposed the idea before his death in 2011.
The key difference between the augmented reality that Cook is pushing and the virtual reality experience that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been promoting is that in augmented reality, users are still fully aware of their real-world surroundings, wherever they are interact with virtual components that have a headset placed over their real space. The virtual reality is completely separated from the real environment and immerses a headset user in a digital world. Meta’s headsets offer both virtual and augmented reality experiences, but Zuckerberg has said repeatedly that he views a largely virtual metaverse – essentially conceived as a broad collection of virtual worlds – as a revolutionary technical innovation in which development the company will assume a pioneering role.
Apple has also repeatedly pushed back the launch date for an autonomous vehicle it’s been developing for years in a secret project, with 2026 the latest rumored target for release. The company reportedly scrapped plans last year to let its car drive without a steering wheel or pedals.
Apple Delays Mixed Reality Headset Debut Two Months Before June (Bloomberg)
Is Apple introducing its AR headset? Everything We Know So Far (Forbes)
Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg understand how bad his metaverse looks? (Forbes)
Apple scraps plans for cars with no steering wheel or pedals, report says (Forbes)
Follow me on Twitter. Send me a safe tip.
I’m a news reporter for Forbes, focusing on national politics and other breaking news such as social media trends, economy and the war in Ukraine.
Read moreRead less