Apple VR headset delayed AGAIN, WWDC 2023 launch thrown into doubt

Apple VR concept render
(Image credit: RendersbyIan)

A new report claims Apple has delayed production of its Apple VR headset, possibly throwing a WWDC 2023 unveiling into doubt.

According to top insider Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple "isn't very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement in recreating the astounding "iPhone moment" it delivered in 2007."

Accordingly, Apple has pushed back the production schedule "by another 1-2 months to mid-to-late Q3 of 2023."

No Apple VR at WWDC 2023?

Kuo says this move "also adds uncertainty to whether the new device will appear at WWDC 2023, as the market widely expects" and naturally reduces the expected shipment forecast for the year to only 200-300,000 units (because Apple will have fewer units in 2023 to sell them in).

According to the report, the main reasons for Apple's pessimism "include the economic downturn, compromises on some hardware specifications for mass production (such as weight), the readiness of the ecosystem and applications" and an eye-watering price tag of between $3-$4,000 or maybe even higher.

Apple's VR headset is expected to be a premium mixed-reality headset offering immersive virtual reality and mixed-reality experiences to users. It won't rely on a device like the iPhone and will feature premium materials of glass, aluminum, and other lightweight materials.

Rumored features include two 4K micro-LED displays, cameras for eye and hand tracking, and an external battery pack to keep the weight of the headset down.

Apple recently reportedly showed the headset to its "Top 100" executives, however, even some internally are skeptical about the prospects of success for many of the same aforementioned reasons, not least the massive cost.

Apple this week confirmed its WWDC 2023 conference will take place from June 5 through June 9, and until moments ago the company was expected to unveil its new headset there. If this latest report is true, we might be stuck with a new M3 13-inch MacBook Air and a bigger 15-inch MacBook Air instead.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9