Apple may postpone plans to launch a VR/AR headset

Apple’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headset project has reportedly been pushed back for at least a year.

Bloomberg reports that the tech giant is encountering software difficulties that will likely delay the release of the headphones to later this year or even 2023. The delay is due to Apple’s development team reportedly encountering issues of overheating and camera on the helmet.

An announcement at WWDC 2022?

While Apple hasn’t officially confirmed that a headset is in the works, Bloomberg estimates the company had planned to unveil the product in June at its annual developer conference, WWDC.

Little is known about this headset, but the articles suggest that it would be a mixed reality headset, which would run on its own operating system and have VR/AR applications downloadable on its own App Store. The Information revealed last year that the headset could be equipped with more than a dozen cameras, 8K displays and an eye tracker. However, the technical characteristics of the product may have since changed.

Bloomberg details that the first generation of these headphones would be an “expensive niche item”, since its price could exceed $2,000, in particular due to its powerful chips, high-resolution screens and new audio technology. This price would be significantly higher than competitors like Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs between $300 and $400 (349 to 449 euros).

Apple would be working on this helmet since 2015

Rumors about an augmented reality headset made by Apple are not new. Last March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo already predicted that a mixed reality headset would be ready by 2022.

The tech giant is said to have been working on this headset since at least 2015, and its release would be the first major product announcement since the first Apple Watch.

Apple’s entry into the VR headset market wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since that market took off last year. According to Grand View Research, it was worth $7.81 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.2% each year through 2028.


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