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Apple delays mixed-reality headset, worried it can't recreate 'iPhone moment'

Apple reportedly has a few concerns about the device.

Published onMarch 30, 2023

Apple logo Mac Mini M2 2023
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
  • The mass production schedule for Apple’s mixed-reality headset has reportedly been pushed back.
  • The delay puts into question whether the headset will make its debut at June’s WWDC event.
  • It’s believed that the reason for the delay may be due to decreased optimism in recreating the “iPhone moment.”

It was expected that Apple would finally announce its anticipated mixed-reality headset during WWDC, which is scheduled to be held from June 5-8. However, the likelihood of that happening is now in question as the headset has reportedly been delayed again.

Top Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, wrote on Twitter today that Apple isn’t very confident that its mixed-reality headset will be able to recreate that “iPhone moment.” As a result, the company has reportedly pushed back the production schedule for assembly by one to two months. Now the company is said to be targeting mid-to-late Q3 2023.

Because Apple isn’t very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the astounding “iPhone moment,” the mass production schedule for assembly has been pushed back by another 1-2 months to mid-to-late 3Q23. The delay also adds uncertainty to whether the new device…
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 30, 2023

It appears that Apple’s lack of confidence stems from a few factors. According to Kuo, these factors include:

  • A lack of enthusiasm based on market feedback.
  • The recent downturn of the economy.
  • The compromises made on hardware specifications for mass production — like weight.
  • The readiness of the ecosystem and lack of app support.
  • The high cost, which could be as much as $3,000-$4,000 or higher.

Kuo then adds that due to the delay in mass production, the shipment forecast has changed. The market consensus was reportedly at 500,000 or more units, but that shipment forecast has now dropped down to 200,000 to 300,000 units.

According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple CEO Tim Cook pushed for the company to launch the headset in 2023. This has reportedly been a source of contention between Cook and his industrial design team. Given the growing trend of delays, Cook may want to listen more to what the team is saying.

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