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Bottom line: Apple’s 2022 product lineup might not be as solid as initially forecasted. Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Apple originally planned to unveil its mixed reality headset in 2021 and ship it this year after having worked on the project since 2015. That didn’t work, however, so Apple reportedly regrouped and decided to announce the headset at this year’s WWDC in June. Development issues could force Apple to push the headset back even further.
Those with knowledge of the company’s plans claim Apple is facing challenges with the device’s camera and software. Overheating is another concern, and it is believed that one of the wearable’s two main processing chips is to blame.
The chips needed to power the headset are said to be high-end components like those typically found in laptops. As you can imagine, squeezing them into something designed to be worn on your head could present some engineering challenges.
Earlier prototypes reportedly skirted thermal issues by utilizing an external processing device that wirelessly transmitted data to the headset, but sources said former Apple design chief Jony Ive wasn’t fond of extra hardware and shot the idea down.
Apple’s first model is expected to be an expensive niche product with a price point potentially north of $2,000. The idea is to use it to help build a solid ecosystem of apps - hence the desire to promote it at WWDC - before targeting a broader audience with future, presumably more affordable products.