There’s been a lot of talk about Apple’s first-gen mixed reality glasses during WWDC 2022. That’s where Apple might have unveiled the headset were it not for the supposed manufacturing delays. Apple didn’t even announce realityOS, the new operating system that will power augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences on Apple headsets. As a result, the mixed reality headset will get an early 2023 release date. And now, a new report claims Apple will follow that launch with first-gen AR glasses in late 2024.
That’s not when the glasses will start selling in stores, however.
Apple’s unannounced mixed reality device is the new wearable that has received the most attention in recent years. It’s the device that Apple can manufacture now and it will probably revolutionize AR and VR experiences.
That’s what mixed reality (MR) is — showing AR and VR content on the same screens. Another name for it is extended reality (XR).
None of the current VR headsets out there can also offer AR content. Those devices are relatively affordable, but they need to be tethered to a computer.
Apple’s mixed reality headset will supposedly look like VR devices, but it’ll also offer AR content. That’s when digital elements are overlayed on top of the real world.
Also, if leaks are accurate, the MR device will be as powerful as a Mac and won’t require a wired connection to any computer. And it’ll be more expensive than an entry MacBook Air or Pro.
Some of these leaks also mention Apple’s AR glasses while noting buyers should not expect a release date sooner than 2025.
Unlike the MR gadget, the AR glasses should look like prescription eyewear. They will only deliver AR content, not VR. And they will likely require a connection to an iPhone, although we expect it to be a wireless link between the glasses and the handset.
Apple AR glasses launch date
Apple’s plans might always change, and there’s no guarantee that Apple’s first AR glasses will be anything like rumors suggest.
Some of the most recent mixed reality headset reports claimed that Apple encountered several delays over the years as it was ironing out issues with the headset. The recent lockdowns in China might have further delayed the release date.
According to a note from Haitong Intl Tech Research analyst Jeff Pu, Apple will launch the AR glasses in late 2024. That would only be the announcement event, however. The glasses aren’t likely to hit stores immediately after the event, assuming the rumored timeframe is accurate.
Before we get to Apple’s AR glasses, Apple insiders expect Apple to follow a particular launch strategy with the MR headset. Apple might unveil the device alongside realityOS next January. The company would then give developers several months to create content for the headset. Apple will then start selling it in stores in the second quarter of 2023. That’s according to a recent estimate.
The first-gen AR glasses will supposedly then get the same launch pattern. Like the mixed reality device, the AR glasses will be a brand new Apple product, requiring special attention from developers.
If Pu’s estimate is accurate, we should expect the AR glasses to hit stores in early 2025.
Separately, the analyst said that Apple will unveil the second-gen mixed reality glasses in the second half of 2024. The prediction makes some sense, as MR devices aren’t the kind of gadgets that need to get annual upgrades. But, again, there’s no way to confirm any of this for the time being.
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