Noted Apple insider Mark Gurman has revised his prediction for the release date of Apple’s anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality headset. Gurman now expects the much-hyped product will debut around March 2023 instead of January.
The timeline shift suggests Apple requires a few more months to finish preparations before launching its first major new device category since the Apple Watch.
Initially, Gurman reports that Apple was targeting the Vision Pro headset‘s launch for January 2024 based on internal plans. In terms of software development, this January timeframe still seems feasible.
The latest beta version of the headset’s visionOS operating system contains onboarding videos and materials typically geared toward finished products. iOS 17.2 also enables companion iPhone features for Vision Pro like spatial video capture.
However, Gurman believes the January target was pushed back to allow more time to ready Vision Pro’s distribution channels and retail experience for customers. He speculates Apple also requires additional testing to validate all the intricate headset functions.
These fronts apparently need extra work before Apple can debut its breakthrough extended reality product and articulate the broader ecosystem vision to consumers and developers.
Notably, Apple’s public guidance of an “early 2023” launch window gives the company flexibility around any last-minute timing adjustments. While a bit later than expected, March still qualifies as early 2023.
When released, Gurman says the Vision Pro will be initially sold in Apple’s US stores and online before later debuting in other countries. This mirrors the gradual Apple Watch rollout.
Unlike standard products, Gurman reports the Vision Pro will only be available directly from Apple, not third-party resellers upon launch.
Apple likely wants retail stores to guide customers through fitting, setup, and providing lenses. Hands-on demonstrations will be crucial for showcasing this futuristic headset and vision for ambient computing to the masses.
If the Vision Pro appears in March, Apple would likely hold a special spring event to spotlight the groundbreaking AR device, its visionOS platform, and launch apps just prior to availability.
This would continue building buzz following the initial teaser at June’s Worldwide Developer Conference that offered an early peek at the headset’s capabilities.