Apple's mixed-reality headset will be available this year, but getting there wasn't easy, and it cost Apple some new features in the upcoming iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating systems.
This is according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has an extensive report on Apple's plans for 2023 in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter.
Gurman claims that, after several delays, Apple is finally getting ready to launch its mixed reality headset ahead of the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. He has a likely name for the device, Reality Pro, and the operating system it will run, codenamed Borealis, will most likely be xrOS. The product, which is already in the hands of a "small number of high-profile software developers" for testing purposes, could hit stores in the fall of 2023.
This is consistent with the latest 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 very high resolution displays.
Apple reportedly had to use resources from other departments to get there, which may mean the company will have less to show when it comes to other products. According to Gurman, the upcoming iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, as well as macOS 14, will have fewer major changes than originally planned.
In terms of other upcoming products, Gurman claims that new MacBook Pros will be released in the first half of 2023, but the rumored 12-inch MacBook will not be released. A high-end configuration for the upcoming Mac Pro has also been canceled, and a larger iMac Pro is unlikely to appear 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 are unlikely to 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 latest versions of Apple Watch could return.
Finally, there's Apple's flagship product, the iPhone. Even if the software changes are more modest than expected, Gurman believes the new iPhone hardware will be impressive. The Dynamic Island should appear on all four upcoming models, though only the Pro variants will get a new titanium frame and haptic volume buttons. New iPhones will finally have USB-C charging ports instead of Lightning, most likely because Apple has no choice but to make the switch in Europe.