With days to go until WWDC, it’s been a wild week of AR headset rumors. But now two of the most well-known analysts on the circuit have poured cold water on claims that Apple will release its mixed-reality headset at WWDC next week.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a widely respected pundit who has been described as “the most accurate Apple analyst in the world”–although AppleTrack’s 72.5 percent accuracy rating suggests this is an exaggeration–today tweeted a brief thread of thoughts related to Apple’s much-anticipated headset launch. Based on the time needed before the product can enter mass production and the dangers of rivals copying its spec and OS design, Kuo concluded that it won’t be released at WWDC next week, or indeed at any point in 2022.
This follows the discovery on Sunday that two trademarks for the term ‘realityOS’ were filed last year by what appears to be a shell corporation, and that these trademarks have a deadline just two days after this year’s WWDC keynote presentation. Given that we know realityOS is a term Apple has used in-house for its virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects, this appeared to suggest an announcement related to the headset would happen on that night.
Maybe an announcement will still happen, but Kuo doesn’t reckon it will be the headset, and he is right more often than not. One alternative launch plan was suggested yesterday by another well-known pundit, Robert Scoble. Scoble, like Kuo, thinks the Apple headset won’t launch until 2023–he predicts June of that year–but has offered some thoughts on how the company will prepare the ground for this launch over the course of the next 12 months.
Scoble is a veteran blogger and tech evangelist who specializes in AR and VR and remains prominent in that field. However, he was considerably more prominent until 2017, when he stepped back from his Transformation Group analysis firm following allegations of sexual misconduct that his partner said were “for the most part true.”
WWDC, Scoble predicts, will see the announcement of “a new development environment for a new kind of photorealistic 3D scenes, avatars, and much more.” The headset will be revealed in January 2023, he expects, and finally go on sale in the summer of that year.
This twin prediction (or anti-prediction) is a blow to Apple fans who had hoped to finally see the mixed-reality headset they have been waiting for since 2017. But it does seem like we are slowly getting closer to a reveal, and we should learn more at WWDC 2022.
We’re eager to hear what Apple has got in store for the AR/VR field. To find out more, join us next Monday for our extensive coverage of WWDC 2022.
Main image is a concept illustration courtesy of Antonio de Rosa.