Want an Apple mixed reality headset? Prepare to wait

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Want an Apple mixed reality headset? Prepare to wait

As Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote in his latest Power On newsletter, when Apple introduces a brand new product, it usually makes eager consumers wait before they can purchase the device. Gurman gives three examples of this. The OG iPhone was unveiled on January 9th, 2007, and released 171 days later on June 29th, 2007.

Apple’s major new products often have plenty of time between getting introduced and going on sale

The OG iPad was introduced on January 27th, 2010, and released 66 days later on April 3rd, 2010. The longest wait belongs to the OG Apple Watch at 227 days as the timepiece became official on September 9th, 2014, and was released on April 24th, 2015.

Gurman notes that Steve Jobs has said that he didn’t want the FCC to leak the iPhone during regulatory approval, so he unveiled the smartphone early. But the truth, according to the Bloomberg writer, was that the hardware and software were not ready to be released to the public. Additionally, the iPhone needed to be tested on cell networks.

The iPad delay was needed to make more e-books ready for the device, and give developers the time needed to optimize their apps for the larger iPad display. Also, Apple needed the time to polish off the tablet’s operating system.

Apple has some major new devices coming including the mixed reality (AR/VR) headset, the AR glasses, and the self-driving car. Gurman expects the delay between the introduction of the mixed reality headset and the release of the product to challenge the 227 days that Apple Watch buyers had to wait. That’s because the mixed reality headset has a complex design including interchangeable lenses.

While the mixed reality headset is going to be an interesting product, the AR glasses should be a bigger deal. That’s because Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will be looking to kill off its most important product in 10 years and replace it with AR. This looked to be Google’s plan when it released that now-infamous video in April 2012. But Google Glass never replaced the smartphone and anyone wearing the device ended up being called a “glasshole.”
Google Glass wearers got tossed from theaters (for fear that they were secretly recording the movie being played) and bars (for possibly taking photos of patrons without their permission). If Apple truly sees the iPhone being replaced by AR glasses in a decade, it must be optimistic about wearers not getting the same reaction.

Gurman sees Apple introducing its mixed reality headset at WWDC next year

And Apple might want to get the product out for the public to see before it is handed around to its manufacturing partners and its own employees any of whom might spill the beans about the device. Apple will also need the time to persuade developers to create games for the device. Gurman writes that he can see Apple introducing the product at WWDC 2022 next June with a release date later next year or even into 2023.

Getting a self-driving car on the streets might be more of an ambitious task for Apple. you can imagine the media sensation any test drive of an Apple Car might produce. After all, testing the car in the U.S. will take years. Using Tesla as an example, Gurman pointed out that the company showed off the Model S in 2009 before it started shipping in 2012. The Model T first saw the light of day in 2016 and was released in mid-2017. And the Model Y was announced in March 2019 and was offered to buyers almost exactly one year later.

The point is that even if Apple introduces the Apple Car in 2025 as it wants to do, it could still be years before you see the vehicle motoring down the road sans driver.

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