Apple Delays Launch of Mixed Reality Headset to June Due to Issues
- 2023-02-17 05:25
According to insiders, Apple has delayed the launch of its highly anticipated mixed reality headset from April to June. The tech giant is aiming to debut the product at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. The postponement was due to hardware and software issues that were detected during product testing. The mixed reality headset is Apple's first major new product category since the company began selling smartwatches in 2015. The device, which combines virtual and augmented reality, would help to boost the company's growth following a recent slowdown. However, the price tag of around $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2,50,000) is a daunting obstacle.
The product's development has been ongoing since 2015, and Apple had originally planned to launch it in June of last year before pushing back the introduction several times. Apple's former hardware chief, Dan Riccio, has become increasingly involved in the project in recent weeks as the company works to resolve remaining issues. The plan was originally to unveil the product in early spring at a consumer launch event and then provide more details to third-party developers at the WWDC. Now, however, Apple plans to debut all aspects of the device at the WWDC and then launch the product later in the year.
The mixed reality headset will feature a new operating system called xrOS internally, which offers a 3D-like view of an iPhone interface and comes complete with apps such as Messages, Mail, Safari, and TV. The device, codenamed N301, will enable more advanced virtual videoconferencing with realistic avatars and immersive video streaming. It will also include an App Store like Apple's other core products.
The hardware has been challenging and expensive to develop, partly because of its sophisticated components. It includes a Mac-grade M2 chip, a pair of 4K virtual reality displays, and an extensive array of cameras to enable augmented reality. Developing the product's interface has also been a complex undertaking, with users able to select items by looking at them and launch apps by pinching their fingers.
There have been concerns within Apple that the mixed reality headset will be too expensive and suffer the same fate as Meta devices, which have been slow to go mainstream. However, some engineers involved in the project believe that the initial device will set the stage for future successes, following the path of the Apple Watch. The company is already looking ahead to a cheaper version with less powerful components for release in 2024 while indefinitely postponing work on standalone augmented reality glasses that would require technological sophistication beyond what's currently available.