Apple’s AR/VR headset might launch later than anticipated in 2023. Instead of a Q2 2023 debut, Apple might release the headset in the year’s second half.
The delay, reportedly due to “software-related issues,” will impact the AR/VR headset’s shipment numbers for the year.
Another delay in the launch of Apple’s AR headset
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says mass production of the headset’s components should start in the first half of 2023. However, its mass production schedule could be pushed to H2 2023.
Rumors have indicated Apple could hold a media event in January 2023 to unveil its AR/VR headset. Given the delay in mass production and launch, it is unlikely the company will hold a media event. A big gap between a product showcase and launch can negatively impact promotion and sales.
The analyst’s claims are based on his latest supply-chain check.
My latest survey indicates that the mass shipment schedule of Apple's MR headset may delay to 2H23 because of software-related issues (vs. the previous estimate of 2Q23).
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) December 4, 2022
The launch delay will impact the number of headsets Apple ships in the year. Kuo now thinks the company will ship less than 500,000 units in 2023, down from the market estimate of 800,000 to 1.2 million units. Apple’s AR/VR headset is not expected to ship in large numbers due to its steep expected price tag of $2,000 or more.
Apple headset could break cover at WWDC 2023
The delay means Apple could use next year’s Worldwide Developers Conference to showcase its AR/VR headset along with its SDK for coders. The product could then launch a couple of months later.
A recent report indicated that Apple rebranded the AR/VR headset’s OS internally to “xrOS.” The rebranding signifies the company ramping up work on the headset ahead of its public launch.
This is not the first time reports have emerged of a delay in the launch of Apple’s AR/VR headset. Following COVID-19 supply-chain disruptions in China this year, Apple seemingly pushed back the device’s launch to 2023.