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Apple to launch AR/VR headset at WWDC 2023, leaker claims

Updated Jan 26th, 2023 1:18PM EST
Apple mixed reality glasses render - bottom view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

Apple has been developing its first mixed reality headset for several years, although rumors about the wearable device have intensified in the past couple of years. This suggested Apple was getting closer to an official AR/VR headset launch, even though the tech giant never committed to anything.

Newer reports said Apple had to delay the launch and release date again. The headset is now supposed to hit stores in late 2023 rather than in the first half of the year. A second insider provides similar claims, teasing a potential launch date for the AR/VR headset: Apple’s WWDC 2023 event.

Capable of delivering standalone augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences, the head-worn device would be as powerful as a MacBook. That’s what some leaks say, suggesting Apple will make a more sophisticated mixed reality device than what’s available from the competition.

However, manufacturing such a gadget will be challenging, especially considering the supply chain headwinds in China. The country recently lifted lockdowns that crippled iPhone 14 Pro production.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a few days ago that “software issues” are pushing Apple’s launch plans back. The AR/VR headset would get a late 2023 release date, although Apple will start to ship components for device manufacturing early next year. The well-known Apple insider warned that Apple would only make about 500,000 units next year.

Apple mixed reality glasses render - side view.
Apple mixed reality glasses render – side view. Image source: Ian Zelbo

Reacting to Kuo’s new findings, leaker LeaksApplePro penned a blog in Howtoisolve about Apple’s AR/VR headset.

The insider says that the most likely scenario for Apple is to launch the AR/VR headset at the next WWDC event in June 2023. The device will not be available in stores immediately. But the leaker says his sources told him that Apple would offer developers kits to adapt their applications for the new device.

A WWDC launch event makes sense for the AR/VR headset. But the device will have to share the stage with all the software announcements that usually come at the conference.

LeaksApplePro says the device will release in late 2023, costing around $2,000, according to estimates. That’s a figure that we’ve heard before, but also one that needs to be confirmed.

The insider also warns buyers that they should purchase the AR/VR headset as soon as it becomes available. Inventory will be limited at launch.

As we’ve explained before, the AR/VR headset is a stepping stone toward the AR future that Apple is building. And that future might involve an advanced pair of Apple glasses that look like regular eyesight spectacles. But they’d project all the iPhone information you need on the retina, effectively changing how we use smartphones.

That may be speculation at this point, but it doesn’t change the fact that Apple has big plans for AR. More significant than the first-gen AR/VR headset.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.