Apple’s upcoming VR headset was purportedly slated to arrive sometime this year. Now according to a recent Bloomberg report, those launch plans may be delayed by a few months, potentially pushing release to 2023.

According to the report, Apple’s VR headset was originally set to get its big reveal at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this June, and would be subsequently released sometime later in 2022.

Citing people familiar with the situation, the report maintains that development challenges related to “overheating, cameras and software” have been stumbling blocks, likely pushing its 2022 launch to 2023.

Thermal challenges are owed to the standalone headset’s chipset, which is said to be similar in power to the M1 Pro chip released in the latest MacBook Pro.

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It’s said that Apple is sourcing the device’s on-board cameras for passthrough AR from LG Innotek, however production may begin “as early as the second quarter of this year.”

As for software, the standalone is said to run its own operating system called rOS, which is said to focus on communication tools and media consumption.

Bloomberg’s source maintains that the Cupertino-based tech giant is planning to bring focus during its 2023 developer conference to filling out a bespoke virtual and augmented reality app store for the device.

Apple has purportedly informed supply-chain partners of the delay, however vendors have been instructed to have units available at the end of this year in preparation for launch.

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Previous reports held that Apple’s upcoming VR headset will have AR capabilities, making it a precursor to its long-rumored full-fledged AR glasses. It’s rumored to be equipped with more than a dozen cameras for room-scale tracking, hand-tracking, eye-tracking, and passthrough AR. The device, which is allegedly fitted with dual 8K displays, is also said to cost $3,000.

Like all things Apple, none of that has been confirmed by the company, so we’ll just have to wait and see what specs and price Apple is targeting.

Meanwhile, Meta (formerly Facebook) is working on its own VR/AR headset, codenamed Project Cambria, which may be positioned as direct competition to Apple’s own when the time comes.

Granted, Meta has been leading the charge with consumer-focused devices that typically fit somewhere around console prices whilst Apple is, well, Apple. If these admittedly tantalizing reports can be believed, it appears both Apple and Meta are using VR headsets with passthrough AR (sometimes referred to as mixed reality) will play out as valuable test beds for future AR glasses—a thus far enterprise-focused segment that’s aiming to eventually replace the smartphone as the dominant portable computing device.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • kontis

    the standalone is said to run its own operating system called rOS, which is said to focus on communication tools and media consumption.

    If it’s another dystopia aspiring single-store walled garden like iOS we are doomed.
    You won’t be able to take a dump on Mars without paying 30% to someone in Silcon Valley to open the toilet with app on their devices. It is already bad on Smartphones. XR will make it 10x worse.

    • Cless

      Bold of you to not immediately assume it won’t be exactly like the iOS. That store made them the most valued company in the world… What possible reason could they have NOT to make that exactly identical to it? If you ask me… none at all…

    • Till Eulenspiegel

      Having Apple joined the VR market is the best way to bring VR to the mainstream. Even Facebook/Meta is secretly anticipating this eagerly.

      The competition is also great for the consumer. It’s a win-win for everyone.

    • sebrk

      Yeah turned out really bad with App Store with about 90% of app revenue all over. Developers earning way way more on iOS than on Android (which has started following suite).

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    Valve Time
    Announcement: “We plan to release on mm-yyyy.”
    Actual release date: Shortly after they think it is ready, whenever that is.

    Apple Time
    Announcement: “The product doesn’t exist”
    Actual release date: Shortly after they think it is ready, whenever that is.

    In both cases there is barely any connection between announcement and release, and no realistic way to determine the release date before they actually ship. Which may be never.

    • That may be true, but Apple better say *somethin’* in June ….

    • Bob

      You can add Nintendo on there too. And what do they all have in common? They don’t cave in to media pressure on product launch schedules. They do what they want, when they want and how long they want. They go at their own pace without allowing outside forces to affect their own product development operations.

      Only when the product meets their own internal quality assurance expectations, they will announce its existence which almost always leads to a release date within the same year.

      The release date for a product from Apple and Valve comes with its official unveiling to the public so there is a correlation between announcement and release.

  • jimmy

    I’m so hyped to see meta knockout apple with a headset 3 time cheaper and 10 time better, if meta want win the high end vr war against Sony and apple and maybe valve they need to go all in on the high end, make it as good as humanly possible it’s not meant to be mainstream it’s supposed to be your shining star, like the Tesla model s plaid for Elon

    • kool

      I think meta will take the 5g streaming sub route to get high end graphics on a standalone. If the can get you to sub to the metaverse they’d probably give away headsets for free!

      • jimmy

        cloud gaming would be a huge game changer for vr probably the biggest leap since standalone

        • kool

          Once they get vr cloud streaming optimized the sky is the limit. They can stream the biggest games with the best graphics your internet speed allows. It will enable the metaverse the big company cant wait to fill with ads.

  • ApocalypseShadow

    I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s just the same parroted thing over and over that walled gardens are bad.

    The reason why we have gotten where we are now is because of different “farmers” and their walled gardens like IBM, Commodore, Texas instruments, etc in making hardware and competing with other farmers with exclusive features you didn’t find on other products.

    On console, farmers like Nintendo, Sega, NEC, Atari, Sony, Microsoft, etc competed to create better products and lowered prices of entry for consumers with their walled gardens. Not only did they bare fruit, we get to enjoy what they planted years ago.

    Somehow, a walled garden is frowned upon. It’s only bad when a farmer has high prices for their produce and control the industry with a monopoly. But there’s nothing wrong with having your own garden or being a farmer. But you’ll see individuals keep chirp chirping away about walked gardens being bad.

    If there was only ONE garden, or every garden planting the same products, we’d have no innovation and high prices.

    • guest

      And 2 arrogant app stores is called a duopoly! Like their lobbiests would never collude in a 2 party government.

    • sebrk

      But will we be able to install a theme with comic sans? I think not!

  • tomchall

    my uncle works for nintendo

    • Duckman

      My uncle works in gardening department of some superstore. Quack!

  • Scientism

    Sorry your preferred authoritarian BDSM lifestyle is not for us. We prefer to decide ourselves, and not outsource our freedom to corporate overlords.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I am a Mac/Linux/Window/Android/iOS user. I appreciate both being able to mess with my system at root level as well as not having to bother with a lot potentially hazardous software thanks to partly locked down systems. I also prefer to pay a lot more for games and in return not to be bothered by ad pop-ups every few seconds. What does that make me? Poly?

  • xyzs

    I hope these assh*les will integrate openxr and not invent their own solution just because their corpo heads cannot stand sharing any tech the surrounding pesant companies.

    Everybody settled on openxr and made it a great standard to not have to reinvent the wheel for engine and every device, they better play fair here!

    • Cless

      … Good luck with that. We are talking about Apple here…

  • David Wilhelm

    This kind of endless speculation and repeated coverage of top 10 lists is leaving other more relevant developments in the industry uncovered or underrepresented.

  • David Wilhelm

    How do you block people who always put their entire message in bold?

    • Cless

      Its easy, you just block @CaryMGVR and done, 100% of people with an ego big enough to write always in all-bold gone from your life!
      But then again… isn’t it funny to read such crazy and convoluted opinions from time to time?

      • xyzs

        Ahah the only reason I am not downvoting this guy is because I blocked him to not read his stupid bold comments, then I don’t have access to it. But if if a nice spirit wants to do it for me, feel free.

    • MLK

      You should not discriminate against people using darker letters!

  • Cless

    Wow, you are the only person in any site I ever visit I have the pleasure to downvote before reading its comment first. Then after reading it, I get the nice feel about being right again about your horrible and terrible opinion, again.

    • Mandub

      The only person I’ve ever blocked on Disqus too.

  • Daniel Gallo

    ya know we can have XTAL 3 VR Specs at Q2 Prices…the issue is always the same..we never have any games hardly. its so easy for these companies to keep making vr hardware. no one wants to spend the time an effort making software (vr full fledge many many game play hours) to enjoy..

  • This is disappointing, but I hope this doesn’t mean the developer kits won’t be made available during WWDC.

    From a technical side: It has been three years since I learned first hand from a Chinese display panel manufacturer that they were making the 8K panels. I thought at the time that would be fantastic but how would one generate the display frame at 90+ frame per second? Of course eye tracking and foveated frames will help, but this all requires dynamic processing to provide an effective framerate which is difficult to do even on a desktop system with high end GPUs. It intrigued me when it was rumored to have two processors to handle frame, 6DOF ( w. Room awareness ) and hand tracking. Still packing the the M1 Pro or the newer M2 inside the HMD along with a power source does not surprise me that they are having heat issues. Even with novel heat dissipating capillary systems, they still require a large surface plane for cooling. And adding a fan would be a big fail. I frankly would not have minded a separate wearable unit, but even then you would need a novel way of transferring data between the displays since most LVD chipsets have limited length of travel even at 4K per eye. Even a physically separated power unit built into the back and strap like the Hololens would help and if done right help balance the entire unit. But still it will be nothing like wearing pair of glasses or even safety goggles.

    In any case, disappointed but I guess less so than having it burst into flames while attached to my face, or even less dramatic – just shutting down in the middle of a intense XR experience.

  • Jistuce

    It’s doing just fine, thanks for asking.

  • di

    How’s SteamVR in iOS and MacOS