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New Apple Reality Pro headset report contradicts claims of delays

Published May 15th, 2023 8:39AM EDT
Apple mixed reality glasses render - bottom view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

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A new Wall Street Journal report says that Apple is anticipating production issues with the Reality Pro headset launch. That’s the purported name of Apple’s AR/VR headset that’s been in the news for a few years now. The upcoming mixed reality wearable will run on a new Apple platform called realityOS, reports say.

The Journal said the AR/VR headset might see delays, considering the complexity of the hardware and software. But reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared an upbeat update about Apple’s unreleased mixed reality headset. He says Apple is “well-prepared for the announcement of this new device.”

Kuo has been one of the constant voices delivering Reality Pro news. In the past few years, the insider relied on his connections inside the Apple supply chain to provide consistent updates about the AR/VR headset. That included various information about the unreleased hardware, like design details and specs. But also bad news like product delays.

The analyst doesn’t mention any sort of delays or production issues in his new report. While The Journal quoted his forecast that Apple would only manufacture up to 300,000 units this year, we never expected the Reality Pro gadget to match the first-gen iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

But let’s not forget that the purpose of the mixed reality device is to mark Apple’s entrance into the AR/VR business, with a huge emphasis on AR. The expensive mixed reality headset is the stepping stone Apple needs for building the AR glasses of the future. That’s the device that might replace the iPhone.

A woman uses the augmented reality features on her AR glasses
Concept: A woman uses the augmented reality features on her AR glasses Image source: scharfsinn86/Adobe

The same WSJ report also noted that manufacturing should start in September. Customers looking to purchase the $3,000 gadget won’t get it until the fall. But the Reality Pro is a first-gen device. Therefore the wide gap between the launch event and its release date is expected. It’s what Apple did with all its devices. We never expected the Reality Pro to hit stores right after the WWDC 2023 announcement next month.

Kuo’s new note about the AR/VR headset sounds optimistic regarding the impact of the AR/VR headset on the supply chain. Kuo named the various companies that have inked Reality Pro supply deals with Apple:

Apart from the assembly (exclusive to Luxshare-ICT), micro OLED display (exclusive to Sony), dual processors (exclusive to TSMC), casing (Everwin Precision as the main supplier), 12 camera modules (exclusive to Cowell), and external power supply (exclusive to Goretek) are the top 5 most expensive material costs for this new device.

Furthermore, Kuo believes that Apple’s AR/VR headset could significantly impact the market if the announcement is “better than expected.” That’s good news for the entire industry, not just Apple’s wearable:

The headset device will soon become the most important new investment trend in the consumer electronics sector if Apple’s AR/MR headset announcement is better than expected.

Apple is expected to lead the market despite its late entrance. And various rivals might copy Apple’s vision in the near future, according to Kuo.

Recent reports from people who have tested the device in the later stages of development indicated the Reality Pro headset will deliver a mind-blowing experience. Some of the AR/VR headset’s software features have leaked recently, teasing some of the unique experiences the device will offer.

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.