Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected figure in all things Apple supply chain leaks, says the Cupertino tech giant is likely preparing to announce its long-rumored mixed reality headset early next year.
Update (June 27th, 2022): Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reached out to Road to VR to correct a previous statement claiming Apple’s MR headset would be released in January 2023. Kuo now says it’s likely to be announced then, and not released. The original article follows below:
Original Article (June 24th, 2022): In a Medium post, Kuo outlines a few key points based on how he gathers the industry is headed.
In short, Kuo posits that Meta is slowing down investment in VR hardware due to looming economic recession, but this will provide others opportunity to play catchup as market share shifts away from Meta to companies such as Sony, Valve, Pico, and HTC. It’s not VR, its Meta’s core business that’s taking a hit.
Kuo says there’s still a “vast” potential demand for VR headsets in China which could be filled by companies with ready access to the Chinese market, such as ByteDance subsidiary Pico Interactive and Taiwan’s HTC.
Apple is also tapped to fill growing demand. Codenamed N301, Apple’s MR headset will “likely release in January 2023,” Kuo maintains (see update), and is set to “favor the continued rapid growth of the headset sector,” adding that it’s “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed.”
“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 says. “Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further boost the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”
N301 is said to combine VR displays with passthrough cameras for both VR and AR applications. Check out the roundup below for all of the rumors surrounding Apple’s MR headset:
What We (think we) Know About N301 Mixed Reality Headset
N301 will be a precursor to a long-rumored, full-fledged AR device which may be named Apple Glass
N301 may pack a dozen cameras for room-scale tracking, hand-tracking, eye-tracking, and passthrough AR
N301 could cost around $3,000
Supply chain rumors suggest it includes MicroOLED displays targeting pixel density of 3,000ppi
“as early as 2022” launch dates for N301 have been reported in the past, however later reports suggest a delay to 2023