New reports suggest that prototype models of Apple’s mixed reality headset are now in third-party developers’ hands.
Speaking in his latest column, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claimed that “a small number of high-profile software developers” have received prototype hardware for testing. Gurman states that even though Apple’s still resolving “many kinks” with the hardware, software and services, that’s been done so developers can begin working on third-party apps.
Elaborating further, Gurman states that Apple originally planned to unveil the long-awaited headset this month, which is now expected in Spring before the annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Reportedly, Apple’s current plan involves getting developers “up to speed” with its software features in June and eventually shipping the headset in Fall 2023. If true, that backs up TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s recent claims, who advised last month that Apple’s headset faces delays into late 2023.
This follows reports that detailed alleged specifications of Apple’s upcoming headset, which reportedly runs on the xrOS operating system. According to The Information, the upcoming headset includes dual 4K OLED microdisplays paired with 120-degree field-of-view lenses, automatic IPD adjustment, LiDAR depth sensors, and support for second-generation AirPods Pro. The headset is said to be powered by an M2 chipset with a secondary ISP (image signal processor) and features “more than a dozen” cameras and sensors for facial, eye, hands and leg tracking.
Gurman doesn’t stop with Apple’s headset, however. He also claims that Apple’s working on an updated version of the Apple Store app for its retail stores, which would activate AR capabilities upon entering a supported location. However, there’s no potential timeframe for this update.