Apple is unlikely to showcase its long-rumored AR/MR headset — or even demo the realityOS that powers it — at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
His mood-dampening remarks follow lots of buzz in recent weeks that indicated Apple finally would take the wraps off the secret project at WWDC22.
The reason? There’s still a lot of time before the headset enters mass production. And Apple doesn’t want its competitors to steal its ideas and rush a copycat to market, Kuo said.
Early Apple AR headset demo could benefit competition
Kuo thinks that if Apple announces the headset or its operating system at WWDC22, it will give competitors plenty of time to “kick off copycat projects.”
Worse, these products could potentially make their way to the market before Apple’s headset debuts in 2023, he said Monday on Twitter.
I'm sure that if Apple announces AR/MR headset and its OS at WWDC, competitors will immediately kick off copycat projects and happily copy Apple's excellent ideas, and hit the store shelves before Apple launches in 2023.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) May 31, 2022
Apple’s AR headset could debut later this year
Manufacturers often take “inspiration” from Apple’s groundbreaking products and launch similar devices. Right now, only a handful of AR/VR headsets are on sale, with Apple’s offering expected to set a new standard.
Rumors of Apple demoing “realityOS” at WWDC22 picked up steam when people noticed that trademarks were set for international filing on June 8. Apple typically files trademark applications for products announced at WWDC a day or two after the opening keynote. Reports of the company showcasing the AR headset to its board of directors added further fuel to this rumor.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman also claimed in his newsletter that Apple is unlikely to demo its AR headset to developers at WWDC22. This is despite iOS 16 being full of references to the headset’s OS. If anything, the company could showcase the headset toward the end of the year and launch it early next year. (That timeline would match more closely with the reported production schedule.)
There’s still plenty of reason to be excited about WWDC22, the annual event at which Apple lays out future plans for all its software platforms. iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9 are rumored to contain significant usability enhancements and pack plenty of new features. This includes a redesigned lock screen experience for iPhones, improved multitasking and floating window support on iPads, and even always-on display support for upcoming iPhones.