Apple mixed reality headset is a “game changer” coming next year, says Kuo

In a nutshell: Apple’s highly anticipated mixed reality headset could be announced as early as January, veteran supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims. He says it will be a revolutionary new device for Apple and a catalyst for the expansion of the mixed reality market.

In a new analysis of the market shared with 9to5mac, Kuo calls the Apple headset “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed” and “a game-changer for the headset industry.”

He predicts that the headset will be announced in January 2023 and then released some time later. In his previous update, he had said that the headset would hit the market in Q2 and begin preparations in the supply chain.

Image credit: Kenny Eliason

In my estimation, this is the third time an Apple headset has had to be released. In both 2018 and 2020, there were long sagas of rumors and reports, including some from Kuo, that were supposed to culminate in the release of AR glasses. But now there’s evidence that Apple is really close.

In May, Bloomberg reported that Apple executives had shown a version of the headset to the board. Last week, CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with China Daily that he “couldn’t be more excited” about AR, telling fans to “stay tuned” and “see what we have to offer.”

Kuo says Apple is leaning towards the Chinese market for its headset. According to the analyst, China has “huge potential demand” that could become the driving force in the adoption of mixed reality hardware.

However, after the launch of the Apple headset, the company’s competitors will also quickly imitate the design, Kuo warns. Well-positioned Chinese companies like Oppo and Xiaomi are likely to be among the first.

Masthead Credit: Zhang Kaiyv