It seems like Apple’s rumored VR headset will face another delay, according to the ever-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who noted in a letter to investors that mass production of the headset won’t begin until late 2022. That means consumers will likely have to wait until early 2023 to get their hands on one.
Kuo previously predicted that Apple’s headset would release in the second quarter of 2022. This new delay is apparently due to Apple wanting to ensure “complete software, ecosystem, and services” to go with the headset. This is understandable, considering the device is rumored to cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.
Apple is also facing design challenges in ensuring a comfortable fit. The company will try to position the headset as something more than just for gaming, so ensuring that the headset is comfortable to wear for long periods of time is paramount. In fact, according to Kuo, Apple is testing “the best industrial design solutions” due to how much more complex the headset is compared to traditional smartphones.
The VR headset itself is rumored to feature 8K micro-OLED screens for each eye, which would ensure high-fidelity visuals. It may also feature biometric authentication for applications such as Apple Pay in order to avoid having to switch back to your iPhone or Apple Watch. The headset is also said be relatively light — only about 150 grams. This would go a long way toward satisfying Apple’s goal of superior comfort.
Given Apple’s advances in its own silicon, the VR headset will almost certainly have a version of the M1 processor (or maybe M2) inside. According to Kuo, Apple wants this headset to be a paradigm shift in the industry, similar to how the original iPhone changed smartphones forever. Having its own silicon combined with a custom OS will allow it to completely control the user experience.
Apple’s VR headset isn’t even the end goal for the company; Apple still has its rumored augmented reality glasses coming after the VR headset. These glasses will likely use some of the lessons learned from the VR headset but apply them to an AR context. In this case, Apple would likely position these glasses as something like a fashion piece, similar to the Apple Watch.