Apple's mixed-reality headset will be available this year, but the journey has not been easy, and it has cost Apple some new features in the upcoming iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating systems.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has an in-depth report on Apple's plans for 2023 in the latest issue of his "Power On" newsletter.
According to Gurman, Apple is finally getting ready to launch its mixed reality headset ahead of the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, despite multiple delays. He has a likely name for the device, Reality Pro, and the operating system it runs, codenamed Borealis, will most likely be xrOS. The product, which is already being tested by a "small number of high-profile software developers," could hit stores in the fall of 2023.
This is consistent with the most recent report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who stated that the mixed reality headset would most likely be delayed until the second half of 2023 due to "software-related issues."
The headset will most likely be a high-end, expensive device with an Apple M2 chip, more than ten cameras on the inside and outside, and extremely high-resolution displays.
Apple reportedly had to use resources from other departments to get there, which could mean the company will have less to show when it comes to other products. According to Gurman, the upcoming iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 will have fewer major changes than originally planned.
In terms of other upcoming products, Gurman claims that new MacBook Pros will be available in the first half of 2023, but the rumored 12-inch MacBook will not be available. A high-end configuration for the upcoming Mac Pro has also been canceled, and a larger iMac Pro is unlikely to be released until late 2023 or 2024.
According to Gurman, Apple's iPads and Apple Watch will only see minor performance improvements this year, and Apple TV and AirPods will likely not be updated at all. A larger HomePod (the original was discontinued in March 2021) with a lower price, an updated touch control panel on top, and the S8 chip seen in the most recent versions of Apple Watch could be released.
Finally, there's the iPhone, Apple's flagship product. Even though the software changes will be more modest than expected, Gurman believes the new iPhone hardware will be impressive. The Dynamic Island is expected to appear on all four upcoming models, though only the Pro variants will receive a new titanium frame and haptic volume buttons. New iPhones will finally have a USB-C charging port rather than a Lightning port, most likely because Apple has no choice but to make the switch in Europe.