Apple AR/VR headset release date reportedly pushed back — why it's delayed

Apple VR
(Image credit: Snappa)

The release date for the long-rumored Apple AR/VR headset was reportedly scheduled for Q2 of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. However, per the latest scuttlebutt from the supply chain, the head-mounted display may be delayed to the second half of 2023. 

What's the hold up? Kuo said that Apple is working on fixing software-related issues, so before it rolls out the mixed-reality headset to the public, it wants to ensure all the flaws are addressed (h/t 9to5Mac).

Apple AR/VR headset reportedly delayed to late 2023

Apple allegedly planned to name its mixed-reality headset's operating system (OS) "realityOS," but Apple is reportedly settling with "xrOS" instead.

Why the name change? According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple believes that the xrOS name is more fitting of the headset's software capabilities. XR stands for extended reality; the mixed-reality headset will purportedly have virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) features.

The headset is expected to come with virtual versions of Apple's popular apps, including Messages, Maps and FaceTime. In addition, according to The Information (opens in new tab), the AR/VR headset may even use iris scanning for payments and logins. In terms of hardware, the AR/VR headset will reportedly come with two 8K displays, the M1 chip, and a steep price tag.

According to rumors, Apple is poised to announce the AR/VR headset in January 2023, so does this reported delay put a wrench in the Cupertino-based tech giant's plans? According to Kuo, he's unsure, but warns that if there's too much of a delay between the announcement and the product's mass shipment, "it's detrimental to promotion and sales."

When Apple's AR/VR headset does hit the market, Kuo predicts that shipments will be less than 500,000 units. In other words, this mixed-reality headset will be a super niche product.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!