Attendees wait for the start of the Apple World Wide Developers Conference
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Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst at TF International, had initially predicted in June that Apple would announce a mixed reality headset by the end of January. But on Thursday, the widely respected analyst said he believes Apple will postpone “mass shipment” of any product to the second or third quarter of 2023, citing a combination of mechanical and software issues.
Kuo anticipates an announcement occurring in a “spring media event or WWDC based on current development progress.” WWDC is Apple’s annual developer conference, typically held in June.
Whenever it arrives, the product would create immediate competition for Meta, formerly Facebook, which is focused on building a digital world called the metaverse and sells its own Meta-branded virtual reality headsets.
Apple’s headset is expected to cost between $2,000 and $3,000 and will have more than 10 cameras on the exterior and interior of the device, according to Bloomberg. The mixed reality device will run on an operating system called xrOS, with mixed reality adaptations of Apple’s Messages, FaceTime and Maps apps, according to Bloomberg.
An announcement during WWDC makes sense if the company wants to show off the headset with the latest software tools that developers will use to build apps for it. WWDC is where Apple unveils the annual software updates and some new features for iPhones, iPads, Macs, the Apple Watch and more, and it has breakout sessions where developers can learn about the latest ways to integrate their apps into Apple’s hardware.
Kuo has broken scoops on Apple product releases before, including news on the size and design of the iPhone X in 2016 before the product launched. The Apple analyst also predicted the controversial removal of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 series.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.