Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s mixed-reality headset may not appear at WWDC 2023

TF International Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Thursday tweeted out his uncertainty over whether Apple’s mixed-reality headset “will appear at WWDC 2023.”

Apple VR/AR headset concept by Antonio DeRosa
Apple VR/AR headset concept by Antonio DeRosa

Ming-Chi Kuo via Twitter:

Because Apple isn’t very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the astounding “iPhone moment,” the mass production schedule for assembly has been pushed back by another 1-2 months to mid-to-late 3Q23. The delay also adds uncertainty to whether the new device will appear at WWDC 2023, as the market widely expects. Furthermore, due to the delay in mass production for assembly, the shipment forecast this year is only 200,000 to 300,000 units, lower than the market consensus of 500,000 units or more.

The main concerns for Apple not being very optimistic regarding the market feedback to the AR/MR headset announcement include the economic downturn, compromises on some hardware specifications for mass production (such as weight), the readiness of the ecosystem and applications, a high selling price (USD 3,000-4,000 or even higher), etc.

MacDailyNews Take: Our little birdie says, “Apple would not want to miss revealing its mixed-reality headset at WWDC as it’ll be up to the developers to feed it with killer apps… Apple revealed software and hardware and then set release dates out into the future before. See iPhone. It’s highly likely that the headset is unveiled at WWDC in June when so much attention is focused on Apple. Public availability may not be immediate.”

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  1. Apple will announce the product at WWDC……they will DELAY the consumer release until later in the year as they have done with previous products.
    They are not first to the “mixed reality” world but they will be the leader when then get into it fully as the developers and others determine the course of MR……

    Lead, follow, or get out of the way……(stealing from Lee, RIP)

    1. As we have seen under Cook’s watch, the release day killer and instant product market leader is dead. That passed with Steve.

      For example, arguably it took Apple Watch 7 generations to lead and still lacks some competitors killer features. The HomePod and Apple TV remote are two more examples that lag behind. Plus, the mythical Apple Car going on 10 years has not shipped one car.

      Considering the recent latest bad press Apple Company insiders saying it is not ready, only compounds the problem for $3000 Version 1.

      I would have to believe with a creative visionary at the helm like Forstall or Musk, it could happen overnight. But with Clueless Cook at the helm always chasing profits, if they ever get it right, it will take YEARS, sorry…

  2. iPhone introduced January 9, 2007 and released June 29, 2007 — 171 days
    Apple Watch introduced September 9, 2014 and released April 24, 2015 — 227 days

    This would put the release between November 23,2023 and January 18, 2024.

    Personally, I doubt this product will be available for the 2023 holiday season. Which means Apple’s stock price will fall, and since it is “on sale,” Apple stick and not this unannounced AR/VR product will be the gift to get this year.

    1. I’d go one further. I don’t think many consumers are expected to buy this v1 product at all. It’s a pro platform, to:

      Create some aspirational buzz around the product and category
      Help developers create the first generation of AR killer apps

  3. The downer is this separate power brick/pack I just heard about yesterday. Does the Oculus or anything similar have a separate power pack?

    Its been 10 (!) years since I ran into Sergey and Larry at the Stanford Coffee House with Sergey wearing Google Glass. How the F has Apple not perfected a mass-market, glasses-based AR product over the last decade. When did we pivot from something like that to a super-expensive VR, at-home entertainment device. Apple’s bread and butter is mobile products, here it feels like we’re going backwards.

    1. Not the same type of product.

      Apple’s AR product will include an “unlimited-scale” retina-resolution virtual display. You can have 5x 30″ monitors around you when you work, then use it for videoconferencing, then play VR games, then experience VR films, then play an AR game…

      1. Thanks for the explanation. Sounds compelling. So do you think this will be married to your Apple Silicon Mac or rather an iPhone/iPad? Maybe finally a fusion of the two? Give me a Minority Report-style experience and I’ll suffer the fanny battery. If it’s media consumption-focused though… I’m dopamine-release-fatigued enough as it is with modern tech.

        1. My best guess is it will be both (and perhaps as you say, offer some type of fusion of experience — Mac-like applications and huge virtual “desktop” displays, with just an iPhone in your pocket).

          I think this is why Apple has been developing Universal Control. They are abstracting our interaction with content/hardware.

          1. Cool, thanks for the thoughts. The most important question burning in everyone’s minds though, is of course: will it have an upgradeable RAM slot? 😉

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