News, rumor, and speculation from the Consumer Electronics Show point to a second half of 2023 launch for Apple’s (AAPL) AR “metaverse” headset.
Apple has been “launching” this high-performance AR headset since 2017 but plans for a launch were put off in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
The launch has even slipped in 2023 from plans to introduce the headset in January with the product shipped later in 2023.
But now it looks like a spring announcement around the time of the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple has already shared the headset and its software (an operating system that will be called xrOS) with a few software developers for testing and to get them to write apps. On the current schedule, Apple would ship the headset to consumers in the fall of 2023.
As exciting as that might be (and as potentially damaging as the competition might be to Meta Platforms (META) and its AR headset plans) for investors one important side-effect is likely to be a lighter-than-usual lineup of new products from Apple, writes Mark Gurman on Bloomberg, since the company has had to repurpose hardware and software resources to get the headset ready.
According to Gurman, besides the AR headset, other new products from Apple this year would be limited to new MacBook Pros and a 15-inch MacBook Air. A new 12-inch MacBook, a larger iMac Pro, and 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pros have been moved, in all likelihood, to 2024.
If you’re an Apple investor, you have to decide if the AR headset is enough buzz to drive the stock in 2023. And what might be the risk if the schedule for the headset slips again?