Apple has been long-rumoured to be entering the virtual reality/mixed reality hardware industry with its own headset. There have been several reports over the years of an imminent release but here we are, still waiting. Apple's interest in this market is known to be genuine, and now well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the headset could launch in January 2023.
According to Kuo, the VR/MR hardware is “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed”. Even so, he says it will finally be ready by January. It is worth noting any top analyst would not list a specific launch month without a good idea that the information is accurate.
Even so, Apple could change this launch cycle for later. However, it does now seem the company will enter the MR/VR space in 2023.
If you are familiar with my Apple coverage on WinBuzzer, you will know I see the company as a great category enhancer, not the great innovator many claim Apple is.
Defining a Category
While not inventing the products it releases, Apple defines the space. For example, the iPod was the digital music player, the iPhone is the smartphone, the iPad is the tablet, and the Apple Watch is the smartwatch.
This means it does not necessarily matter if Apple enters a product space later than rivals. The company's strength is defining the space and making a complete product for it.
According to Kuo, that is exactly what Apple is targeting with its VR/AR headset and he says the company's presence will trigger “rapid growth” in the VR/AR headset market.
“Although Apple has repeatedly reiterated its focus on AR, I believe Apple AR/MR supporting video see-thru could also offer an excellent immersive experience,” Kuo predicts. “Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further boost the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”
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