Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated.

apple ar headset concept 1Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's functionality, Kuo said that while Apple has repeatedly touted its focus on AR, the headset will "offer an excellent immersive experience" and a "video see-thru" mode. The headset is expected to boost demand for immersive gaming and multimedia entertainment experiences.

Kuo said that the device is "the most complicated product Apple has ever designed," leading Apple to use components from many of its existing suppliers. Kuo also believes that Apple will be an industry leader in the headset space, has "significant competitive advantages," and does not need to join the Metaverse Standards Forum. Notably, Kuo thinks that rivals will race to imitate Apple's headset once it launches, "leading the headset hardware industry to the next stage of rapid growth."

While Apple's headset was widely believed to be scheduled to launch this year, a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman cast doubt on the chances of the device emerging this year due to development problems. According to DigiTimes, Apple in February 2022 completed key production tests on the headset and reportedly plans to begin mass production around August or September. Kuo's prediction of an announcement in January 2023 therefore appears to be broadly in line with other rumors about when the device could emerge.

Regardless of the exact timing, Apple's headset project is believed to be "approaching liftoff," with the device mirroring the development timeline of the Apple Watch in the period before its launch. Apple's work on the headset's operating system, "realityOS," has been rumored since 2017, but the existence of the operating system was confirmed when references to it were found in App Store upload logs and Apple open source code.

The headset is rumored to feature a lightweight design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, 15 optical modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, eye tracking, object tracking, and hand gesture controls, and more. The device's approximate price point is as yet unclear, but some reports indicate that it could cost around $3,000.


Update: This article has been edited to reflect an edit made to Kuo's Medium article. It previously said that Apple's headset would "likely be released" in January 2023, but this has since been revised to "likely be announced."

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Top Rated Comments

LittleChief Avatar
22 months ago
I know there are a lot of naysayers for this product but this is a potential iPhone moment. A see it to believe it product. Apple's big product intros tend to be 10 years in the making. The concept has been around for a long time but nobody has done it quite right. The weight of the headset, the miniaturisation of optical components, Apple's processor advances, software and tools development via iOS and so many factors play in to this having transformative potential.

If you can take yourself inside a virtual studio/world with Mac-like capabilities, retina-like resolution and can communicate and collaborate 'face to face' whilst still maintaining a safe tether to your physical environment so they can feel connected as one and the same (and with M1/M2 style efficiency) then we're on to something!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swingerofbirch Avatar
22 months ago
Just in time to return that Christmas scarf and exchange it for what you really wanted.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
22 months ago
It really looks like a very slow game of chess. They have been developing tech (see: LIDARs, AR, SOCs) sometimes with modest short term gains, and everything looks like converging now into a grandmaster checkmate.

As always, the first iterations will be a laughing stock for pundits, but I fully expect Apple to redefine the technology landscape once more with this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
amarcus Avatar
22 months ago
Announced in January and released in June anyone?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Leon Ze Professional Avatar
22 months ago
I can hear Craig Federighi saying: Just look at how beautiful these goggles are. We just can't wait to see this sitting on your face.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lostPod Avatar
22 months ago

prom videos will maybe look super amazing :D I can’t imagine and also other things like Grand Theft Auto 6.
Prom lol
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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