Apple may delay its virtual reality headset until next year, report says

An attendee wears a HTC Corp. Vive virtual reality (VR) headset during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S., on Monday, June 5, 2017.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple is weighing whether to push back the debut of its hotly anticipated virtual reality headset until late 2022 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg.

Although Apple has never publicly confirmed work on a headset, investors and analysts increasingly believe such a device will become a big new product category for the tech giant. A large team, called the Technology Development Group, is reportedly working on the headset.

Apple was previously planning to debut the product at its developer’s conference, according to the report, but could delay it because of challenges related to overheating, cameras and software.

A delay would threaten to chill enthusiasm for the metaverse, a collection of technologies related to augmented and virtual reality, often publicly championed by rivals. Analysts in the sector were expecting Apple’s product introduction to provide a bolt of energy for the industry.

A delay could also raise questions about Apple’s go-to-market plan. The iPhone maker’s annual developer conference is viewed as an ideal venue to get software makers excited about making apps for a new product.

The headset is expected to offer a virtual reality experience with a high-resolution screen. Some reports say it could potentially cost over $1,000, far higher than current VR headsets like the $299 Meta Quest.

It will focus on communication tools and media consumption, according to the Bloomberg report. A separate augmented reality product, with clear lenses, is still years away, the report added.

Apple is telling suppliers that the product could sell as many as 10 million units during its first year, according to Bloomberg.

An Apple representative declined to comment.

Read the full Bloomberg report.

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