Apple’s virtual reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR) glasses have been in the eye of the hurricane in recent weeks since several analysts predicted that they could be announced by Apple in January 2023. However, according to the latest information from Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple seems to have (again) postponed the distribution of this new device due to certain “software problems” that they must solve.
Ming-Chi Kuo expected Apple to start global distribution of its VR/AR headsets in the second quarter of 2023 but it seems that after these latest supply chain leaks, it will have to be postponed to the second half of 2023. On the other hand, Bloomberg reported last week that this new device will run the renowned Operating System as “xrOS” (formerly known as “realityOS”). This change would have been made internally by Apple in recent weeks with the aim of emphasize its use through augmented or extended reality (X-tended reality = xr).
According to Kuo’s information, different changes and various bugs in the new “xrOS” they would have caused Apple to halt and postpone the mass distribution of its headset until the middle of 2023. Without including any additional reason, the analyst assumes this delay based on the latest surveys he has conducted of Apple’s main suppliers.
Notably this delay in distribution does not have to impact the presentation of the device in early 2023 as planned (and if not, tell the first iPhone and the beta phase in which it was presented). This has also been done before on other devices such as the Apple Watch, announcing it months before it was going to have commercial availability.
However, and having the latest information on delays, Ming-Chi Kuo talks that the possibility of them being announced in January is perhaps premature since it could take a long time until they could be marketed and that would impact the marketing and sales of the product.
Whether the media launch event (previously estimated in January 2023) will also be delayed has yet to be determined, but typically, if the lead time between the media event and the mass distribution of the final product is too long , is detrimental to the marketing and sales of the product.
Kuo also reiterates (unfortunately and as we already knew) that Apple glasses are expected to be a very niche product. Predicts initial shipments of the device to be “less than 500,000 units” in 2023. Kuo’s prediction is below the consensus of other analysts, which range between 800,000 and 1.2 million units.