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Apple AR/VR headset tipped for WWDC unveil – why that would make sense

OPINION: It’s not a delay, it’s a sensible decision. Here’s why it’d make perfect sense for Apple to launch its long-awaited ‘Reality Pro’ headset at the summer developers’ conference.

Despite all the estimates, predictions and insider tips, it’s safe to say Apple hasn’t put an imminent internal deadline on releasing its rumoured AR/VR mixed reality headset.

The latest word is that the originally floated March/April 2023 reveal (which was beyond an original late 2022 assessment) is now more likely to take place in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. That’s according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

The reliable Apple reporter had been among the key reasons many observers had hung their hats on the prospect of a spring unveiling of the headset, thought to be named Apple Reality Pro. Now he says that has been “postponed” for a couple of months.

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Gurman writes that: “Apple made the decision to delay the launch earlier this month after product testing showed that both hardware and software issues” that still needed to be addressed.

That’s to be expected and wouldn’t prevent Apple from previewing the headset and its features at a controlled launch event. It would only matter if the company had begun a production run with these flaws still present.

Look, if we’ve learned anything from covering Apple launches in recent years, it’s that the company does not rush to release new product categories – especially those it hasn’t even publicly confirmed are in the works.

It has always been clear the company will launch this hugely significant product when it’s actually ready, rather than when media predictions and rival companies’ product releases dictate. Apple sees this as the eventual successor to the iPhone. It has to be right.

WWDC makes sense

WWDC has always been, primarily, a software focused event. However, there’s often the odd bit of hardware launched alongside the new versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS and the like.

If Apple does choose to launch at WWDC (which always takes place in June), it could be beneficial overall. The headset will require its own operating system, which will reportedly be called rOS (or realityOS). The ideal setting for this reveal is WWDC.

The software and its applications will arguably be just as interesting as the hardware itself so it makes sense to show them both off during the traditional window for software. During its keynote, Apple often welcomes third-party developers on stage during WWDC to show off their new apps, which would give the company the perfect opportunity to showcase how well-known apps and games will translate to the new medium.

It might also give the company the chance to meet with developers and host sessions for creators who will be preparing their apps rOS apps alongside their work on iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and such.

If Apple continues the trend of previewing software at WWDC before releasing the newest hardware it’ll run on, it’ll give Apple a few months to continue fine-tuning everything before a Reality Pro arrives – hopefully before the end of 2023.

So, relax everyone. The headset will arrive when it’s ready for prime time and not before.

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