Apple could delay its mixed reality headset by “at least a few months,” the first time the tech giant would be forced to delay a major new product release since the Apple Watch in 2015, Bloomberg reported Friday (Jan. 14), citing unnamed sources.
Apple’s headset — which mixes augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) — was slated for its worldwide debut at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June and release later in 2021. Issues with overheating, cameras and software have slowed the production schedule of the high-tech headset, according to the report.
That could mean the headset’s announcement won’t come until the end of 2022 or later, and the product might not come out until 2023, the report stated.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.
Apple hasn’t discussed its proposed headset publicly, but the idea of a mixed-reality headset has been in development inside the walls of Apple since about 2015, the report stated. The company sees it as a potential long-term replacement for the iPhone.
More than 2,000 Apple employees are working on VR and AR hardware in the Technology Development Group, the report stated.
Although Apple’s mixed-reality headset isn’t likely to be tied to entry into the metaverse, it’s one of several rumored new products for the company in 2022. Apple is also working on new Mac Pros, the biggest MacBook Air revamp in the product’s history, three new Apple Watches and a new iPhone 14.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has hired about 100 Apple engineers in the past few months. Apple has begun offering large bonuses to keep engineers on board and has snagged several Meta employees. Meta has also hired dozens of members of Microsoft’s HoloLens headset team to join its metaverse project.