Apple Mixed Reality headset design to cause production delays

Apple and its CEO Tim Cook have been big proponents of augmented or mixed reality of the more widespread VR technologies in the market today. Despite that, the company's AR products have been limited to what can be done and seen on an iPhone or iPad screen. While iOS' ARCore definitely has some potential, it will take a dedicated AR or MR device to truly bring that out. Unfortunately for those hoping for such a device, they might have to wait even longer for that to happen.

Rumors of an Apple mixed reality (MR) headset have been going around almost as long as Apple Car rumors have. The company's public statements in support of the technology made many hopeful that Apple would take the likes of Microsoft and Facebook's Oculus head-on soon. According to analyst Ming-chi Kuo, however, that soon has just become not so soon.

Initially intended for a mass production schedule starting on the second quarter of 2022, Kuo says that the schedule has been pushed back to the last quarter of next year. Presuming all goes well, which is almost unlikely for such first-gen devices, the Apple MR headset could be available by early 2023. Of course, Apple could announce the device before then and make it available only as a developer kit.

The reason for the delay is Apple's notoriously high standards, particularly in the design of the headset. The company set its goals very high and aims to have the best industrial design among AR and VR headsets currently in the market. This might still be a different device from AR glasses that Apple is also expected to launch by 2023.

Apple reportedly also wants to make sure that its MR headset won't be seen just as a gaming or entertainment device. It is working to build an ecosystem of hardware, software, and services before launching it, which is also part of the cited reasons for the delay.