Apple may postpone plans for VR/AR headset debut

The company was expected to unveil its virtual and augmented reality headset in June.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer

Plans for a virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) headset from Apple are reportedly being pushed back at least a year. 

Bloomberg reports that the tech giant is experiencing software challenges that would most likely delay the headset's release until the end of this year or 2023. The delay is due to Apple's development team allegedly experiencing problems with the headset related to overheating and issues with the camera.

Even though Apple hasn't officially confirmed a headset is in the works, Bloomberg said the company had plans to unveil the product in June at the annual Worldwide Developer's Conference. 

Little is known about the headset, but reports suggest that it would be a mixed-reality headset that would run on its own operating system and have VR/AR apps available to download from its own App Store. The Information reported last year that the headset could have over a dozen cameras, 8K displays, and an eye tracker. However, those specs could have changed since then. 

Bloomberg details that the first generation of this headset would be an "expensive, niche item" that would cost more than $2,000 because of the inclusion of powerful chips, high-resolution screens, and new audio technology. That $2,000 price tag would be significantly higher than competitors like Meta's Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs $300 to $400.  

Also: Toxic and unethical: One night with Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 was enough

Rumors have been swirling about an Apple-made AR headset for a while now, and last March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that a mixed-reality headset would be ready by 2022. The tech giant has reportedly been working on this headset since at least 2015, and its release would be the first major product announcement since the first Apple Watch. 

It's not a surprise for Apple to enter the AR headset market as a tech company, especially since the market has taken off over the past year. According to Grand View Research, the VR headset market was $7.81 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.2% every year until 2028. 

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