Apple's VR headset is still a long way off, analyst suggests

Apple VR render
(Image credit: Future)

Apple won't be announcing its VR headset this year at WWDC 2022, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Instead, Kuo believes the company is planning on a late 2022/early 2023 announcement followed up with a first-quarter 2023 release date.

This report updates an earlier prediction from the reliable analyst back in 2021 when he said he expected Apple to release its headset in 2022, but in the time since, it's been reported that Apple is planning to release both AR glasses and a VR headset, with the headset expected first and the glasses to follow.

Lately, it's also been reported that Apple's VR headset will include micro OLED displays courtesy of TSMC alongside Apple's own M1 chip. These reports, of course, come amidst the general forecast that the global chip shortage will continue into 2023, maintaining production restrictions and limitations on all electronics companies.

Mentions of the headset's operating system, supposedly dubbed "realityOS" internally, found in App Store logs alongside curious trademarking of the term have thrown the Apple rumour mill into high gear. Apple has long since been rumoured to be developing a VR/AR headset, and while nothing has been officially confirmed, a headset is coming – and coming pretty soon in the grand scheme of things.

The global demand for VR/AR devices is expected to exceed 14 million by the end of 2022, and that number is only expected to grow in the coming years as VR/AR tech becomes more powerful and less expensive. So, it only makes sense that Apple would want to establish its name in the VR/AR world while there's still relatively little competition.

According to Kuo, while Apple's VR headset will be coming in early 2023, the company isn't likely to announce anything at the upcoming WWDC conference to prevent, in part, its competitors from copying features of the new Apple headset before Apple can bring it to the market.

However, it is expected that at WWDC we'll learn more about the upcoming iOS 16, which is widely expected to include a number of VR/AR features that will likely lay the groundwork for future Apple headsets. For now though, this is all speculation. For confirmation, at least about iOS 16 features, you'll only have to wait till 6th June when the conference begins.


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Ruben Circelli

Ruben is a long-time freelance consumer technology and gaming journalist, and was previously a Staff Writer at What Hi-Fi?. Since 2014, Ruben has written news, reviews, features, guides, and everything in-between at a huge variety of outlets that include Lifewire, PCGamesN, GamesRadar+, TheGamer, Twinfinite, and many more. Ruben's a dedicated gamer, tech nerd, and the kind of person who misses physical media. In his spare time, you can find Ruben cooking something delicious or, more likely, lying in bed consuming content.