WWDC 2023 kicks off in less than a month, and most folks are expecting Apple to unveil its “Reality Pro” AR/VR headset. The Wall Street Journal has released a new report today, corroborating multiple details about the headset.
The report, which gets its information from the ever-popular “people familiar with the matter” sources, echoes previously seen rumors about the headset, including an external battery pack, ski goggle-type design, and much more. Many of the details in the WSJ report have been previously shared by other sources, including Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Ming-Chi Kuo, The Information, and other analysts and publications.
The report reiterates previous rumors that the AR/VR headset will use a mixed-reality approach, which will allow users to “experience their virtual worlds through the screen in the goggles” while simultaneously seeing the “physical world around them thanks to outward facing cameras.”
While the report says the headset is still on track to make an appearance at WWDC, it says the gear won’t be available “for most users until the fall at the earliest.” The report says mass production of the headset isn’t slated to kick off until December. It also says that Apple has “spent months preparing presentations with a demo version of the device” for WWDC.
Executives and tech analysts say Apple isn’t waiting any longer to unveil the new headset, as it would take too much time to finalize an ideal version of the headset, competitors already have products in the marketplace and Apple has already heavily invested capital and resources into the headset’s development.
Although mass production is apparently still months away, the WSJ report’s sources say that people inside Apple the company’s supply chain are still worried about further delays.
Some Apple employees and suppliers have questioned whether the rollout could be delayed given the challenges with integrating the headset with new software, its production and the broader market, people familiar with the product’s development said. Apple could still make changes to its timeline.
The headset’s tentative introduction to the market, with known hurdles, contrasts with Apple’s usual path where products are introduced to the world as fully formed. The expected $3,000 price tag is out of the realm for many consumers, and the company is already anticipating some production issues.
Today’s report jibes with previous reports that the “Reality Pro” headset will be powered by an external battery pack. The report also says the headset will “also fully enclose the user’s eyes like a pair of safety goggles” preventing users from “being able to directly view their surroundings as they would with a normal pair of glasses.”
The report also says Apple is planning multiple sessions for developers at WWDC, devoted to the development of the software for the new AR/VR headset.