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Apple has been working on an Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) headset for some time now. The device was expected to go into mass shipments by Q2, 2023. According to supply chain data analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s AR/VR headset is now likely to ship in the second half of 2023. The analyst shared this information in a series of posts on microblogging site Twitter.

Stating that the shipment schedule for Apple AR/VR headset has been delayed, he says that the device is facing some software-related issues.

A Bloomberg report last week said that Apple has renamed the AR/VR headset’s operating system to ‘xrOS’ from the previously reported ‘realityOS’. The ‘xr’ here stands for ‘extended reality’. The change, as per the report, was made internally in recent weeks. As per Kuo, changes and bugs within xrOS have caused Apple to delay mass shipments of its headset to the second half of 2023.

“My latest survey indicates that the mass shipment schedule of Apple's MR headset may delay to 2H23 because of software-related issues (vs. the previous estimate of 2Q23)", Kuo says in one of his tweets.

It is important to note here that a delay in mass shipments does not imply a delay in the device’s announcement. It is likely that Apple may launch the AR/VR headset months before its availability. But, it may be ‘detrimental to promotion and sales’, Kuo adds.

“It still needs to be determined whether the media event schedule (previously estimated in January 2023) will also delay, but usually, if the time frame between the media event and end product mass shipment is too long, it’s detrimental to promotion and sales."

In his posts, Kuo also predicts that the Cupertino-based company may ship less than 5,00,000 units of its AR/VR headset in 2023. It is lower than the market consensus of 800,000 to 1.2 million units. Apple’s AR/VR headset is said to be the next critical growth driver for the optical industry. The market expects it to be a spotlight in the low season of the optical industry.

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