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Apple is widely expected to unveil its much-anticipated “Reality Pro” AR/VR headset at WWDC 2023 which begins in less than a month. Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said on Monday that it is “highly likely” that Apple will announce the headset at WWDC and that the Cupertino company is “well prepared” for the debut.
Previously, Kuo had said the AR/VR headset’s debut will be the “last hope” for Apple to convince investors that the device will actually sell. He also claimed that the company had pushed back the headset’s production to the third quarter of 2023. He also said the headset might not premiere at the WWDC event. However, it appears that Kuo has become more optimistic about the chances of a WWDC unveiling for the headset.
In a Medium post on Monday, Kuo said the AR/VR headset will be announced next month and that it “bodes well” for the supply chain share price. The analyst also mentioned five of the headset’s components that, outside of its assembly, represent the device’s “most expensive material costs.”
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Kuo mentioned the headset’s 4K micro-OLED displays (by Sony), its dual M2-based processors (by TSMC), its casing (manufactured by Everwin Precision), the 12 optical cameras used to track hand movements (by Cowell), and the headset’s external power supply (supplied by Goretek).
Pricing of the headset is expected to start somewhere around $3,000, indicating that Apple won’t be aiming the headset at general consumers when it is first released but will instead target the device at content creators, developers, and other professionals. Apple reportedly expects to sell one headset per day per retail store. Apple has reportedly informed its component providers that it expects to sell from 7–10 million units during the device’s first year of availability.
Apple is expected to use the WWDC 2023 keynote address to confirm the AR/VR headset is a real product, possibly also announcing a date when the headset will go on sale.
It is believed by many that some non-Apple folks have gotten a sneak peek of the device. Palmer Luckey tweeted on Sunday that “The Apple headset is so good.” Luckey founded Oculus, the producer of the first Oculus Rift VR headset back in 2012. Meta purchased Oculus in 2014.
Ming-Chi Kuo previously claimed that there is “insufficient evidence” that AR/VR headsets will become the next big thing in the world of consumer electronics. Kuo cited Sony’s pulling back on its plans for PS VR2 production. Kuo also mentioned the expected 300,000 shipments for the Meta Quest Pro product lifecycle as evidence that headsets may not be the next big thing.
Many observers have shown growing skepticism that Apple will offer a headset that people will actually want and buy. Apple employees are reportedly concerned about the device’s price point. Employees are also concerned that the headset may be a “solution in search of a problem” and have additional concerns that it may not be “driven by the same clarity” as other devices offered by Apple.