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We are under one month out from Apple’s annual developer conference, and as excited as fans might be for the rumored mixed-reality headset, they should also temper their expectations when it comes to getting their hands on one. According to The Wall Street Journal, even though Apple still plans to debut the Reality Pro headset at WWDC 2023 this June, the company “is already anticipating some production issues” which could impact the launch.
For months, reports have indicated that Apple is struggling to bring the device to market, despite having been in development for seven years. The WSJ article corroborates those reports, citing people familiar with the supply chain who say most consumers won’t be able to actually buy a Reality Pro headset until the fall at the earliest.
This is a significant reversal for Apple, which normally doesn’t even talk about new products until they’re ready to ship. But Apple has already sunk years of development time and untold amounts of money into this project, and Tim Cook is done waiting for perfection.
While Apple is reportedly doing everything in its power to get the headset out the door before the end of the year, sources told The Wall Street Journal that “some Apple employees and suppliers have questioned whether the rollout could be delayed given the challenges with integrating the headset with new software, its production and the broader market.”
The report then goes on to back up claims that Apple will launch the headset with “a battery in a pack expected to be the size of something that fits in one hand and separate from the goggles.” Yet another concession we wouldn’t traditionally expect from Apple.
Manufacturing delays have reportedly pushed back mass production to September, with Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying Apple should ship between 200,000 to 300,000 units this year. That’s a fraction of similar estimates for Apple’s other products, but reports suggest that the Reality Pro headset will cost $3,000 at launch.