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Apple headset announcement delayed until WWDC

Apple has once again delayed its announcement event for the Apple AR/VR headset. Originally expected to debut in the spring, Bloomberg reports that Apple is now targeting its WWDC conference in June as the new date for the product’s unveiling.

That’s a delay of two months compared to the previously-rumored April release date. The headset device, likely branded the “Apple Reality Pro,” will represent Apple’s first hardware venture in the augmented reality and virtual reality market. The product has been many years in the making and has faced multiple late-stage hardware and software development setbacks in the run up to launch.

Of course, nothing is set in stone until Apple officially announces the event publicly. But there were strong indications that Apple was originally ramping up for a mid-late 2022 debut. This was then pushed back to January of this year, and then April, and now early summer — according to Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg report says the reason for the latest delay is multi-faceted and both hardware and software issues are to blame.

WWDC is Apple’s annual conference where it unveils the roadmap for its desktop and mobile operating systems, typically held in the first or second week of June. This year, we can expect the company to announce iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10.

The WWDC keynote has also featured Apple hardware announcements in the past, so a headset launch there would not be out of the question. Apple could also use the conference to evangelize to developers why they should make apps for the new “xrOS” platform.

Apple’s first AR/VR headset is not expected to be a mass consumer hit. The product is expected to be expensive, priced around $3,000, as it will showcase cutting edge technology, including advanced hand and eye tracking, ultra high-resolution displays, be powered by Apple’s M2 chip, and house more than a dozen cameras and sensors in the headset chassis. Apple is said to be developing cheaper and more consumer-friendly headset models for future years.

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