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Apple is not ready to launch its AR/VR headset yet

On the morning of March 8, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage before a global audience watching virtually for news of the tech giant’s next product reveals and upgrades. Since Apple titled the event “Peek Performance,” the cult of Apple immediately assumed there was something special about this everything iOS party. Most members settled on a single prediction: Apple will finally unveil its long-rumored AR/VR headset. I’m not so sure.

It’s not an unreasonable suggestion, as the logo for the event on Apple’s own page does include an AR logo within the multicolor image. A quick Google perusal of the host images for past events reveals similar AR logos popped up for previous events that had nothing to do with any new Apple VR technology, as others have also noticed.

The invitation for Apple's Peek Performance event on March 8, 2022.

There’s been plenty of discussion of Apple jumping into the AR/VR world for years. While it’s a natural enough move for Apple to get into a field already powered by Sony, HTC, Oculus, and other tech powerhouses, Apple finds itself in the unusual position of bringing up the rear in a product category.

While Apple claims credit for revolutionizing global consumer technology with the iPod, the iPhone, and the Apple Watch, its competitors got into the AR/VR market well ahead of the iPhone maker. Apple would find itself in the unusual position of trying to meet the function expectations for such headsets, while also looking to somehow redefine or surpass consumer expectations for all things augmented or virtual reality.

If Apple is going to jump into this new game, it has to start somewhere.

Then again, if Apple is going to jump into this new game, it has to start somewhere. The question is: Will Apple really announce its new AR/VR device at this “Peek” event? The debates are raging across social media forums (as much as these discussions ever manage to rage), with Apple fans transforming into an unsettling mix of Sherlock Holmes and conspiracy theorists. They’ve analyzed everything from color combinations in the logo to image format to prove the impending arrival of Apple’s fancy future visor. I went down this rabbit hole, so you wouldn’t have to.

It’s not yet time

The trouble with all this enthusiastic prognostication is that many Apple experts believe the company’s AR/VR products are still at least a year away. While that could be a smokescreen to throw snoopy consumer tech writers off the virtual trail, the media consensus is that the would-be Apple goggles are still a ways off.

Also, even if there was some potential AR/VR splash en route for Peek Performance, recent global news could have thrown off the entire plan, as it has so many other life elements around the world. With the eyes of every country on Earth correctly focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s not the best time for any company looking to make a big, happy news splash with what amounts to a very fancy toy.

Apple’s rank-and-file users could better spend their time analyzing more realistic introductory options — even those possibilities somehow suggested by the logo. The image plays with color options and depth. Could 3D tech, improved screen resolution, or sharper colors be on their way to a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, an iPhone SE, or iPad Air?

Apple is a much surer bet to unveil any or all of the other products mentioned above at what will likely amount to a perfectly productive, but very typical Apple debut.

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