Apple Inc.’s long-reported mixed reality headset is looking more likely to be coming sometime later this year after it was discovered that the iOS 16 beta code heavily references the device.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg wrote today that he believes that a full-blown introduction of the headset is unlikely at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June but the beta versions of iOS 16, codenamed Sydney, “are chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.”
“That indicates that the headset will launch during the iOS 16 cycle, which kicks off in June and will last until iOS 17 comes in the fall of 2023,” Gurman writes. “It may also suggest that Apple could preview some of its upcoming augmented and virtual reality software earlier. ”
Apple was first reported to be working on a headset in January 2021. In November, esteemed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested the headset could debut in late 2022. Therefore, a preview of the device in June is a possibility, since Apple will want to have developers build products for it before it goes to market.
The form the headset will take remains unknown. Kuo believes the headset will be a standalone wearable that will not require a secondary device, such as a Mac or an iPhone. Instead, it will contain its own embedded processor “with the same computing power level as the Mac,” which would be a comparable level to the M1. On Jan.9, Gurman wrote that he believes that Apple will ignore a metaverse headset and will instead offer a mixed reality headset that is used for “bursts of gaming, communication and content consumption,” but it will not be an “all-day device.”
Along with the annual operating system updates — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — there are reports that Apple will release more traditional hardware at WWDC as well.
Reports have included a new Mac Pro desktop computer or even a new MacBook Air. Gurman agrees with the new MacBook Air debuting at the event and also suggests that Apple could release a new Mac mini and 24-inch iMac, and a low-end MacBook Pro to replace the aging 13-inch model.
The annual Apple even, WWDC22, is being held online for the third straight year June 6-10 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.