Apple VR release date delayed, leak suggests Spring or WWDC unveiling

A render of the Apple VR headset next to a neon Apple logo
(Image credit: Rendersbylan (edited))

Following a report last month that Apple VR may not be released until the second half of 2023, more specific intel from the same source claims the headset is behind schedule and may not be unveiled by Apple until as late as WWDC. 

In a tweet, prolific insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a stellar track record of predicting Apple's future plans over a number of years, says that Apple VR "is behind schedule due to issues with mechanical component drop testing and the availability of software development tools." 

He says this means that mass shipment of the device (likely meaning its release date) has been postponed from Q2 of 2023 to the end of that quarter or Q3 2023, which is when we currently expect to see Apple's next best iPhone, the iPhone 15.

Apple VR release date

As a result, Kuo says that it is "is increasingly unlikely that Apple will hold a media event for the new device in January," a rumor that was making the rounds at one point last year. 

Now, Kuo says it seems more likely that Apple will debut Apple VR "at a spring media event or WWDC", suggesting an unveiling in March or as late as June. WWDC will see Apple unveil all of its next major software upgrades for iPhone and iPad including iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, as well as the next versions of macOS and watchOS. 

The disappointing news about the release timeline follows a swathe of new information about the headset from earlier this week. 

The Information's Wayne Ma says Apple VR could come with an external battery back connected to the headset via a cable, rather than a power source built into the headset itself. This would not only save weight, reducing stress on the user's head and neck, but would also allow for users to purchase extra battery packs that could be quickly swapped out, allowing for more continuous playtime not tethered to a mains outlet. 

The report claims Apple's headset also has a 120 field of view, and a Digital Crown that can be used to transition between virtual and mixed reality. The headset is expected to offer both as a means of entertainment, allowing either full virtual reality experiences or augmented reality overlaid on the real world. 

Sadly, we might have to wait a bit longer to find out what Apple actually has in store for us. 

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