According to a new report from the Financial Times (via Road to VR), Apple’s mixed reality headset could appear as early as the summer season.
The report suggests an announcement in June 2023, although it’s worth noting that reliable industry analyst Mark Gurman has previously hinted at an even earlier announcement date for the headset – in March or April.
The new report reconfirms that Apple CEO Tim Cook is the driving force behind the trillion-dollar company’s push into AR and MR, and it would be the vehicle to “secure its legacy.”
Tim Cook has been vocal about his enthusiasm for AR over the years, and below are just a few of his quotes:
“There’s virtual reality and augmented reality – both are incredibly interesting. But in my opinion, augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far.”
“I think that a significant portion of the population of the developed world and eventually all countries will be having AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day, it’s becoming so much a part of you, a lot of us lives on our smartphones, I hope the iPhone is very important to everyone, so AR is going to be really big.”
“AR is going to take a while because there are some really tough technological challenges there. But it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in a big way, and we’re going to wonder when it’s going to happen, how have we ever lived without it. How we wonder how we lived today without our phones.”
And while Cook warned us at the time that “AR is going to take a while,” 2023 finally seems to be the year when the technology is considered mass-market ready. The problem with this is that Apple’s MR headset will appear to cost an insane $3,000 at launch, suggesting it’ll only be aimed at die-hard techies and possibly developers. So understandably, the aforementioned report says the Cupertino-based company only expects to sell around a million units over the course of a year.
The silver lining is – we’ve heard numerous other reports claiming Apple is already working on lower-cost versions of its yet-to-be-released headset.
One of the many hurdles Apple had to overcome was reportedly the decision to delay releasing the headset so the company’s industrial design team could find ways to make it thinner and lighter. Or release an early version without further delay. Apparently, Apple has opted for the latter.
Which makes sense, since the competition doesn’t exactly stand still with their arms crossed. Earlier this year, Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung, announced it was working on its own AR product in partnership with Google. In addition, Samsung recently even patented the Galaxy Glasses name. So if Apple hesitates any longer, it could easily be beaten by the Korean giant.
You might also find interesting: