Ming-Chi Kuo says the Apple AR/MR headset will likely be announced in January [U]

Apple will likely announce the mixed reality headset in January 2023, according to trusted supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The latest release date forecast has been shared in a new analyst note looking at areas of growth in the VR headset industry.

Apple VR headset announcement

Specifically, the analysis looks at how the industry will change in the coming months as Facebook-turned-Meta has to deal with the competing iPhone maker in the VR headset space. Kuo argues that the Meta has been key to the growth of the VR industry over the past few years as it has sold VR headsets at a lower price.

Koo says the VR industry is maturing so much that pulling out of Meta won’t hurt the industry. Instead, Meta cutting its investment in VR hardware would benefit other VR headset makers as the industry expands.

“In addition, the massive potential demand in the Chinese market and Apple AR/MR, which is likely to be announced in January 2023, will also support the continued rapid growth of the headphone sector,” Kuo wrote. That’s ahead of schedule compared to Kuo’s predictions earlier this month.

Apple’s mixed reality headset was previously thought to be something that could launch in 2022, but hardware and software setbacks required more development time.

The game-changing industry

The analyst also suspects that Meta may pull back from its investment in VR hardware in the near term as it refocuses on its core business model. Advertising powered by the Facebook social network is a reason to corner the Meta thanks in part to Apple’s ATT privacy policy on the iPhone.

As for Apple, Kuo says the company is a “game changer in the headphone industry.”

“Although Apple has repeatedly reiterated its focus on augmented reality, I believe Apple AR/MR video support can also provide an excellent immersive experience,” Kuo predicts. “Thus, the launch of Apple AR/MR will boost the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”

The analyst goes on to describe Apple’s headphones as “the most complex product Apple has ever designed,” which is saying something for the iPhone.

Finally, Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple’s competitors to imitate the company’s mixed reality headset design and push the entire industry forward as a result.

Keep up with Apple’s latest mixed reality headset 9to5Mac’s Apple headphone guide.

Update: Kuo corrected the note to say the headset will be announced rather than released in January.

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