Apple’s AR/VR headset is facing delays amid overheating issues

The rumor: Apple’s first major product introduction since Apple Watch was set to take place at WWDC in June, but that might not happen anymore, according to Mark Gurman (87% accurate), Takashi Mochizuki and Debby Wu.

Here’s the report, via Bloomberg

  • Apple is thinking about pushing the launch of the high-end AR/VR headset back “by at least a few months” due to “development challenges related to overheating, cameras and software”
  • The announcement may now take place closer to the end of the year, with the first units shipping in 2023
  • 2 chips will power the headset and one is said to be as powerful as the M1 Pro processor in the latest MacBook Pros, adding to heating challenges
  • The cameras are said to have “also faced development challenges” but no other details are provided

Our take: It sounds like even years into development, Apple is still putting the polishing touches on this first-generation headset. I think a guarantee here is that it will be announced many months before it actually ships. Most interesting to me is how the heat issues were predicted in development…Apple’s initial approach was to put the processors in an external device that would transmit data wirelessly to the headset. But Jony Ive believed that was a poor experience so they integrated the chips directly in the headset. That sounds like the right call to me, even if it means waiting a bit longer for this one more thing.