According to Apple tracker Mark Gurman, Apple could be readying its new headset at the expense of its other devices, which could see less upgrades this year.
By EMMA ROTH
Apple’s getting ready to launch its long-rumored mixed reality headset this spring, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The company’s reportedly planning to reveal the device ahead of the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and will start shipping it this fall.
The headset, which could cost as much as $3,000, is expected to provide both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences using Apple’s new xrOS operating system. Gurman says Apple has already shown off the Reality Pro-branded device to “a small number of high-profile” developers so they can start creating third-party apps for it.
Gurman’s prediction corroborates rumors from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said last week that the development of the headset is delayed “due to issues with mechanical component drop testing and the availability of software development tools.” He added that it “seems more likely” that Apple will announce the headset at a media event in the spring or at WWDC.
In recent months, numerous reports have emerged about the headset’s potential capabilities, including iris scanning for logins and payments and a physical dial that will let you switch out of VR. According to a report from The Information, it could also feature an AirPods Pro integration that can enable “an ultra-low-latency mode” when wearing the earbuds with the headset. It may also focus more on work rather than gaming, sort of like the $1,499 Meta Quest Pro, and might not come with a gaming controller.
But there are still “many kinks to work out” with the device’s hardware, software, and services, Gurman says, and this is slowing down Apple’s other projects. We may see a more low-key year for new releases as a result, and it also may be why Apple missed its goal of transitioning away from Intel-powered chips within two years.
Now that the M2 “Extreme” chip with 48 CPU cores and 152 graphics cores is no longer an option, Apple is anticipated to release a new lineup of MacBook Pros with slight improvements this year, along with a 15-inch MacBook Air. As Gurman points out, “the memory is tied directly to the M2 Ultra’s motherboard,” Apple is instead preparing to release a Mac Pro variant with the M2 Ultra chip that does away with user-upgradable RAM. It might also come in a design that is “identical” to the $5,999 2019 model, which wouldn’t make the $1,999 Mac Studio all that much more appealing.
This year, Apple is also anticipated to introduce a new HomePod, but Gurman advises against “expecting anything revolutionary about it.” It might only have a S8 chip, an updated touch control panel, and a lower price. While iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 may include more subtle updates, other devices, such as an updated 24-inch iMac and a new batch of iPad Pros with OLED displays, aren’t expected to ship until next year.