It seems Apple has once more postponed the start of mass production for its highly anticipated mixed-reality headset aka Apple AR/VR Headset, casting doubt on the device’s potential debut at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has recently indicated that the production of Apple’s much-awaited AR/VR headset has been delayed yet again. Kuo now anticipates that the assembly of the device by the supply chain will start in the third quarter of this year, most likely in the middle to late months. As a result of the delay, Kuo has revised his initial projection of over half a million units to only between 200,000 and 300,000 units that will be produced and shipped this year.
The delay is due to Apple’s pessimistic outlook on the market prospects of the device, given its high estimated cost of around $3,000, coupled with the prevailing weak economic conditions. Kuo further noted that Apple has compromised on some of the device’s specifications, including its weight target, as they work to scale up the production process.
Kuo also suggests that the delay in the ramp-up of production may cause a pushback of the headset’s announcement date. However, it was expected that there would be a considerable gap between the unveiling and the official release of the device.
Apple’s first headset, supposedly named the “Apple Reality Pro,” is the result of many years of research and development. Nonetheless, it is believed that the device may have limited appeal to the general public and will mostly target developers and enterprise users.
Despite this, Apple is reportedly planning to release future generations of the headset that will be more attractive to the average consumer, including the development of a more affordable model.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s remarks are consistent with a recent article published in The New York Times, which indicated that some Apple employees are skeptical about the mixed-reality headset. The article referred to the device as “a solution in search of a problem,” implying that it may not have a clear use case or appeal to consumers.
Despite the earlier projections, Apple’s announcement of WWDC 2023 between June 5 and June 9 has raised questions about the anticipated unveiling of the headset. However, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman maintains that Apple is still aiming for a June launch date, and this assertion was reiterated following the announcement of WWDC23.
With the production delay, concerns about the device’s market potential, and compromises made to some of its features, it seems like Apple is confronting a significant obstacle in bringing the product to fruition.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will indeed launch the headset in June or if the company will push back the release date. Nonetheless, with the delay in production, concerns about the device’s market prospects, and the compromise on some specifications, it appears that Apple is facing a significant challenge in bringing this product to market.
Source: Ming-Chi Kuo