Apple to focus on mixed-reality headset in 2023

January 9, 2023 in iOS by Brenton ‐ 2 min read

Apple is expected to unveil its mixed-reality headset this year, as competition heats up in the virtual reality space.

Bloomberg (Mark Gurman):

Apple Inc., after seven years of development, is nearly ready to launch its first mixed-reality headset. But the focus on this new product will lead to an otherwise muted 2023.

Up until fairly recently, Apple had aimed to introduce the headset in January 2023 and ship it later this year. Now the company is aiming to unveil it this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, I’m told.

Apple has already shared the device with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, letting them get started on third-party apps.

If Mark Gurman is on the money, then 2023 is shaping up to be a relatively quiet year for most Apple product categories. Aside from the mixed reality headset, which has been rumoured for many years.

If Gurman’s sources are correct, it sounds like Apple is still having issues with developer tooling for the headset. Given the importance of getting developers on board, hopefully the company can resolve these issues shortly. The last thing we want is another development experience reminiscent of developing for Apple Watch, which can be frustrating to say the least.

With so much of the company’s efforts spent on getting the mixed-reality headset out the door, Mark is predicting a quiet year for most other product lines. The iPhone may see a number of changes in including USB-C and a switch to a titanium body. While the Mac lineup will see minor spec bumps across the line and a Mac Pro that resembles the existing Intel hardware.

One benefit of a quieter year for the other product lines is the chance for Apple to pause and ship versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS that focus on stability, reliability and performance. So expect much of the focus for WWDC this year to be on the headset and the new ‘reality OS’, and less so on splashy iOS & macOS features.