Apple’s top analyst sees its Mixed Reality headset see the light of day in January

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In a note to TF International clients, written by top analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and read by: 9to5Mac, Kuo says Apple’s Mixed Reality headset will most likely be released in January. Kuo’s note focused on the growth prospects of the VR industry. Kuo explains that Meta (formerly called Facebook) now has to compete with Apple. However, the industry is growing so fast, Kuo says, that Apple’s involvement shouldn’t hurt Meta’s growth.

Kuo calls the Mixed Reality headset the most complicated product Apple has ever built

In fact, the analyst believes that with Meta slowing down, it could provide an opening for other companies to get involved in VR technology. While Meta is dealing with Apple’s incorporation into the industry, Kuo credits the company as key to growth in the VR headset business.

As for Apple, Kuo calls its VR/AR headset “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed”. The most recent word on the headset is that it will be a standalone device and handle all of its own processing rather than passing it on to the iPhone. Chips with the computing power of Apple’s M1 component are said to be involved in the device. As many as 14 cameras will follow the movement of the product, which can be sold for a whopping $3,000 and runs on the new reality operating system.

What is not yet known is whether the battery that powers the headset will be worn by the user or built into the handset. VR, or virtual reality, allows the user to immerse themselves in a totally made-up world. AR, or augmented reality, adds a layer of data to a real-time video feed. For example, the Live View AR walking feature in Google Maps uses your phone’s camera to display a real-time video feed of your current location. A layer of real-time data at the top shows you which direction to walk to get to your destination and also points out famous landmarks.
Kuo last year called on Apple to release the Mixed Reality headset in 2022. But that may have been too ambitious a schedule for Apple to keep. At some point earlier this month, the analyst printed a tweet predicting a release in the second quarter of 2023. He said the COVID-related Shanghai lockout would slow down production of the headset. He also unveiled a roadmap that started with an Engineering Validation Test (EVT).

The EVT test comes after a prototype has been selected and multiple versions of the device have been produced that have both the functionality and appearance of the finished product. It is estimated that as many as 50 pieces of the headset were made during this process (check local bars to see if any were left “accidentally” on the floor). Kuo expects pre-orders of the headset to begin in the second quarter of 2023, with the product hitting store shelves just before WWDC 2023, which could take place in early June of next year.

After the Mixed Reality handset comes Apple’s next big thing!

The analyst says his supply chain sources help him calculate the expected release date of the product. Not only has Apple’s board of directors already had a chance to try out the device, but recently Apple CEO Tim Cook, a big fan of AR (and an enemy of leaks), said in an interview with Chinese media to standby for Apple’s Mixed Reality handset.

After the release of the Mixed Reality headset, as early as 2024, Apple could be ready to ship its next big thing. Apple Glass, AR-controlled glasses, has long been considered Apple’s possible successor to the iPhone. As with Google Glass, Apple Glass could provide users with many of the same capabilities as the iPhone, but instead of holding a screen in your hands, the screen would be viewed through your lens.

Some analysts believe that Apple Glass will eventually replace the iPhone to become Apple’s most popular product.

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