Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple’s mixed-reality headset could be delayed yet again

Apple’s rumored mixed-reality (MR) headset has seen some interesting developments in recent days, from details about its powerful chip setup to the likelihood it will use three immersive displays. But today, there’s some bad news: We might have quite a wait to actually buy one.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple is considering pushing back the headset’s launch by a few months due to numerous ongoing issues. That could delay its announcement until late 2022 or beyond, with the headset potentially not actually launching until 2023. It’s just the latest in a litany of problems and holdups to have afflicted the device.

Apple’s first VR/AR headset risks being delayed until 2023 and a planned unveiling at WWDC 2022 could be pushed back after development snags related to overheating, cameras and software. Company is still building support into iOS 16 and many more details:

— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 14, 2022

There are numerous reasons for the setback, says Gurman. One is related to the device overheating, which is perhaps unsurprising considering it is rumored to use a dual-chip setup that rivals the MacBook Pro in terms of power. All that juice so close to a user’s head has to be carefully managed to avoid discomfort, and apparently Apple isn’t quite there yet.

That’s not the only problem Apple has encountered, according to Gurman. The company is also struggling with unspecified problems relating to the headset’s cameras and software (code-named rOS, with the “r” probably short for “reality”). Numerous developers on the project have also reportedly been lured away by Meta, which is allegedly working on its own MR headset for a future release.

A preview at WWDC 2022?

Apple VR Headset Concept by Antonio De Rosa.
Antonio De Rosa

Gurman states that Apple had intended to announce its headset at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), with a release date planned for later in the year. That now looks to be in doubt, with Apple apparently informing its suppliers that the device would not be ready until 2023.

Instead, Apple could make its headset the focus of its 2023 WWDC show instead of this year’s event. Whenever it ends up happening, the idea is to get developers used to the rOS ecosystem and creating apps for the mixed-reality headset. There will also be an App Store for the headset, Gurman says, which developers will need to prepare for. And Gurman claims Apple is building support for the headset into iOS 16, which will be previewed at this year’s WWDC in June 2022.

That means there’s a chance Apple could tease some aspects of its headset — perhaps what apps will be able to do on rOS, for example — without fully unveiling the device. That seems plausible if a late 2022 release date is still in the cards. But if Apple has to wait until 2023, Apple CEO Tim Cook and company might not want to wait so long between revealing the headset’s capabilities and putting the device on sale, lest it give ideas to Apple’s rivals.

Whatever happens, Apple’s headset could be one of its most important new devices since the Apple Watch. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too long to see it.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Here’s how Apple could drastically cut the Vision Pro’s price
A person sits down wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset.

Apple’s Vision Pro headset made a massive splash when it was announced in June 2023, and one of the biggest talking points was its $3,499 price. Despite reports that Apple is charging buyers at or near the cost of making the device, it’s still a massive amount for most people to shell out on a headset.

There could be some future relief though, as Apple is reportedly searching for ways to bring the price down, whether that’s a “Vision Pro 2” headset or a lower-cost version that omits a few of the more expensive features.

Read more
Apple’s Vision Pro headset may try to alter your emotions during movies
The Apple Vision Pro reveals the wearer's eyes on a front-facing display.

The Vision Pro headset is totally new territory for Apple, so it’s no surprise that the company has been dreaming up some unusual ideas for how it will work. But new information has come to light that seems pretty out there even by the Vision Pro’s standards.

That’s because the headset might be able to gauge your mood and physiological state, then change what you see in order to create a specific emotional reaction. In other words, if it detects you’re getting too stressed out by whatever is on the screen, it might automatically change your content to something more palatable. That sounds a lot like another idea Apple had that would send you on a mood-altering trip while wearing the Vision Pro.

Read more
Apple’s big M3 MacBook event could be in danger
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks at a display of brand new redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22

We’re only about a couple weeks or so out from Apple’s September event, where the company will unveil its iPhone 15 and a slate of brand new Apple Watches. But if you’re holding out for a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, don’t get your hopes up -- these laptops, which are rumored to be outfitted with one of the most significant chip upgrades in years, aren’t expected to come until October.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter, the show will be the first time the public casts eyes on the iPhone 15 range, as well as the Apple Watch Series 9 (and potentially a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra). It’ll follow the now-established pattern of a prerecorded video followed by an in-person hands-on session.

Read more