The widely respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is one of several who claim that Apple is developing a mixed-reality headset to be released in the medium term - likely next year. This product is expected to arrive before the dedicated AR (augmented reality) glasses the company is also rumoured to have in development.
But it may not arrive as soon as was previously expected. In a new mailing to investors, Kuo claims that complications in the manufacturing of the headset have led to mass production being postponed from the second to the fourth quarter of 2022, 9to5Mac reports.
Note that this timeframe is only when mass production will start; the actual release of the product will be later. When we were expecting production in Q2 2022, the anticipated launch was in autumn of that year. This now looks likely to be delayed until 2023.
According to Kuo, it's not the worldwide chip shortage that's the culprit. Instead, it's a very complicated design that has caused problems for Apple's suppliers: the company's requirements are "much higher than [for] competitors' products", he explains. Hopefully this will turn out to be worth the wait, since Kuo says Apple's headset will have "the best industrial design so far".
Kuo is generally well informed and has a long and distinguished track record of Apple predictions; his pronouncements are routinely reported in the tech press. But it must be acknowledged that he is by no means infallible: at time of writing AppleTrack gives him an accuracy rating of 74.6%, some way behind rival pundits such as Mark Gurman (88.8%). Indeed, he is currently level on points with Jon Prosser, who is often mocked for a few high-profile missteps.
In other words, it's worth waiting for confirmation from other sources before assuming this prediction is accurate.
Mixed-reality tech blends elements of the real and the virtual for business and entertainment applications. It combines features of the VR and AR tech that Apple is also understood to be working on for a range of new products.