Apple’s AR/ VR Headset Delayed to 2023 by Development Challenges: Report
Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset has hit delays that could push the launch of the headset to the end of 2022 or 2023, according to a new report. The Cupertino company has been working on an augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/ VR) headset that is said to be in development since 2015, and the company is reportedly weighing a price point higher than $2,000 (roughly Rs. 1,49,000). The company is reportedly adding in support for the device in iOS 16, which is expected to be unveiled later this year.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is considering delaying the launch of its mixed-reality headset, which was previously expected to launch at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) conference in June. The report cites a source who claims the development of the headset has run into challenges including “overheating, cameras and software”. As a result, the company is now expected to announce the headset at the end of 2022, or later, while the product could be available in 2023.
The company’s mixed reality headset, codenamed N301, has been in development since 2015, according to the report, and the company had previously planned its debut in 2021 with availability in 2022. According to older reports, Apple is looking to replace the iPhone with its mixed reality headset in a decade. Apple last launched a major new product in 2015 with the arrival of the Apple Watch, while the company has since launched products like the HomePod speaker in 2018 and its AirTags tracker in 2021.
Previous reports have suggested that the company’s upcoming mixed reality headset would utilise two chips, one reportedly as powerful as the company’s M1 Pro chip on the MacBook Pro launched in 2021. According to the Bloomberg report, the heating issues appear to stem from the use of these chips. Apple had previously planned on offloading the processing to a secondary device, but the plan was reportedly dropped. The headset is also facing issues with the AR cameras, which are expected to be sourced from LG Innotek, according to the report.
Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset is tipped to be a step towards the company’s rumoured N421 AR glasses, which is expected to debut in the coming years. However, the upcoming AR/ VR headset may come with an expensive price tag, as the company is considering price points above $2,000 (roughly Rs. 1,49,000) according to the report, and is expected to be higher than an upcoming AR/ VR headset from Meta, called Project Cambria. However, the company expects to sell between 7 to 10 million mixed reality headsets in the first year, according to the report.
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