Apple mixed reality headset is a “game changer” coming next year, says Kuo

In a nutshell: Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset could be announced as soon as January, claims veteran supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He says that it will be a revolutionary new device for Apple and a catalyst for the expansion of the mixed reality market.

In a new analysis of the market shared with 9to5mac, Kuo calls the Apple headset “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed” and “a game changer for the headset industry.”

He predicts that the headset will be announced in January 2023 and then released sometime later. In his previous update, he’d said that the headset was slated for release in Q2 and was starting to be prepared for in the supply chain.

Image credit: Kenny Eliason

By my estimate, this is the third time that an Apple headset has been supposed to release. In both 2018 and 2020, there were lengthy sagas of rumors and reports, including some from Kuo, that were meant to culminate in the release of AR glasses. But now, there’s evidence that Apple is really nearly there.

In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple executives had shown a version of the headset to the board of directors. Just last week, CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with China Daily that he “couldn’t be more excited” about AR and told fans to “stay tuned” and “see what we have to offer.”

Kuo says that Apple is leaning into the Chinese market for its headset. According to the analyst, China has “vast potential demand” that could become the driving force in the adoption of mixed reality hardware.

After the Apple headset has launched, though, the company’s competitors will also quickly imitate its design, warns Kuo. Well-positioned Chinese companies like Oppo and Xiaomi will probably be among the first.

Masthead credit: Zhang Kaiyv

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