Apple AR/VR headset will ‘likely release’ in January, says Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple’s mixed reality headset will “likely release in January 2023,” according to reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The latest release date prediction was shared in a new analyst note examining growth focuses of the VR headset industry.

Apple VR headset release

Specifically, the analysis looks at how the industry is set to change in the months ahead as Facebook-turned-Meta has to deal with the iPhone maker competing in the VR headset space. Kuo argues that Meta has been key to VR industry growth over the last few years as it sold VR headsets at a less.

The VR industry is maturing, Kuo says, so much that a pull back from Meta wouldn’t hurt the industry. Instead, Meta cutting its investment in VR hardware would serve to benefit other VR headset makers as the industry expands.

“In addition, the vast potential demand in the Chinese market and Apple AR/MR, which will likely release in January 2023, will also favor the continued rapid growth of the headset sector,” Kuo writes. That’s ahead of schedule compared to Kuo’s prediction earlier this month.

Apple’s mixed reality headset was once believed to be something that could launch in 2022, but both hardware and software setbacks have needed more development time.

Industry game changer

The analyst also suspects that Meta may pull back on its near term VR hardware investment as it refocuses on its primary business model. Advertising powered by the Facebook social network is cause for corner at Meta thanks in part to Apple’s ATT privacy policy on iPhone.

As for Apple, Kuo says the company is “a game-changer for the headset industry.”

“Although Apple has repeatedly reiterated its focus on AR, I believe Apple AR/MR supporting video see-thru could also offer an excellent immersive experience,” Kuo predicts. “Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further boost the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”

The analyst goes on to describe Apple’s headset as “the most complicated product Apple has ever design,” which is saying something for the iPhone company.

Lastly, Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple competitors will imitate the company’s mixed reality headset design and push the whole industry forward as a result.

You can keep up with the latest on Apple’s mixed reality headset with 9to5Mac’s Apple Headset guide.

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