Apple’s AR/VR Headset Could Be Delayed Due to Thermal, Software Issues: Gurman

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 14 Jan 2022

Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset could be delayed by “at least a few months” due to overheating issues. Besides this, hardware and software challenges could also force Apple to defer the launch.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the issues could prevent the mixed reality headset from being unveiled in July at the Worldwide Developers Conference as internally planned. If Apple struggles to get a hold of the situation, the launch could be pushed into 2023 as well.

Gurman cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter who claimed that the issues are specifically related to the headset’s camera systems, software, and thermal management. He adds that the thermal problems arise from the high-end chips Apple typically uses on Macs. The anonymous sources also claimed that Apple’s WWDC event in 2023 would be all about building AR and VR apps for the headset’s App Store.

Apple is also rumored to be “laying other groundwork” for the headset in iOS 16 codenamed “Sydney” that would be revealed to the world in June. Gurman says that Apple could “theoretically preview technical aspects of the headset or its software, without showcasing the full device, as early as this year’s developer conference.”

Our Take

Rumors about Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset have been floating around for some time now. The company would be entering an emerging new product segment where it would rival the likes of Sony and Meta. This means Apple would intend to make a solid debut with a bug-free product.

However, if Gurman’s claims are accurate, we believe the headset could be delayed well into the latter half of 2022 or early 2023. While issues with the camera system and software would be relatively quick to fix, the overheating issues could force Apple to restrict the performance of the chip or redesign the cooling system and product’s form. The overheating issues are likely being caused by Apple using such a powerful chip in a device with such a small and compact form factor that does not leave much room for dissipating heat.

Do you think Apple will talk about the mixed reality headset at WWDC in July this year? Tell us in the comments section below.

[Via Bloomberg]