Apple looks set to unveil its mixed reality headset at WWDC this June
The long wait might be almost overBy Rob Thubron
Something to look forward to: We've been waiting a long time for Apple to unveil its mixed reality headset, but Cupertino could finally reveal the device at this year's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), usually held at the start of June, ahead of its release before the end of 2023.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman writes that Apple originally planned to unveil its entry in the mixed reality headset arena this April but that has now been pushed to June's WWDC event. According to anonymous people familiar with the matter, Apple needed more time to address hardware and software issues before launch.
This isn't the first time the headset has been delayed; Apple had hoped to introduce it in June last year, presumably at WWDC 2022, but that was pushed to January 2023, then April, and now June.
Gurman writes that Dan Riccio, Apple's former hardware chief who now helps oversee the mixed-reality project, has become increasingly involved in recent weeks as Apple rushes to iron out the various issues before the headset's reveal and launch.
Apple's product is rumored to be called the Reality Pro and offer high-end features such as an M2 chip, dual 4K displays, an array of cameras for augmented reality, and advanced hand tracking. It can also create full-body avatars of a person the wearer is speaking to over FaceTime, and has a physical dial for switching between viewing VR and the real world.
The headset will reportedly come with a new operating system, which is being called xrOS internally. It features a 3D-like view of an iPhone interface and comes with upgraded versions of classic apps such as Safari, TV, Messages, and Mail. Users will be able to look at apps to select them and pinch their fingers to launch apps.
That all sounds very impressive and a bit sci-fi-like, but such technology doesn't come cheap; Gurman says Apple will charge $3,000 for the headset.
Sales of VR headsets fell 12% year-over-year in 2022, but companies keep pouring resources into the segment. HTC unveiled the $1,100 lightweight Vive XR Elite VR/AR headset last month, and the Meta Quest 3 is set to launch in late 2023 for a price between $300 and $500.