How a mixed reality headset uses all of Apple’s resources…even the iPhone

Apple is the latest in a straight line before announcing mixed reality headsets in the spring. However, the effort made will heavily impact almost all future releases, hardware or software.

2023 will be a year of mixed reality for Apple. His MR helmet is on the final approach. This is a big deal for Apple, which has been working on its development for about seven years.

Launch in the spring, release in the fall

As Mark Gurman points out in his newsletter, turn it on, Apple originally planned to hit the market in 2019, but delays piled up and pushed the launch date to 2020, then 2021 and 2022. But this time, it looks like we’re there. Even with the last minor delay, a priori Apple planned to launch it for marketing in January, around March. Now, its announcement should take place in the spring – Apple often organizes events in March. The schedule would allow him to unveil his helmet before WWDC in early June, so that a certain number of developers could already rub shoulders with the beast. However, the Cupertino giant did not intend to launch its Reality Pro helmet before the fall.

A construction site that requires full attention

This schedule would have the advantage of giving developers access to the helmets before WWDC. For now, according to the journalist Bloomberg, only a select few developers can now access a model of this helmet to create the first mat of third-party applications. We imagine that developers like Snapchat, who are very advanced in augmented reality, could be part of these chosen ones. WWDC would then be an opportunity to show the potential of the helmet to the general public and answer questions from developers. Craig Federighi’s teams will have to deliver truly developed software solutions. The foreground operating system, codename Borealisshould eventually be called xrOS.

Information In a recent long article, Apple revealed that it has encountered several software problems, complicating things and partially contributing to the fact that Reality Pro will not be launched in January. Mark Gurman even points out that Apple’s teams are still not done with the helmet. Huge “has a lot of problems to solve – hardware, software and services, and how to market and sell it”.

Given the challenge and to meet its goals, Apple would reallocate resources on this project by pulling it out of various hardware and software departments. “This will hamper other projects, some of which are already suffering from delays and budget cuts due to the economic slowdown. »explains the journalist Bloombergbefore driving the point home decisively: “This could mean Apple will have less big news to show this year”.


Even the iPhone is affected

The Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, and 15-inch MacBook Air will be there, accompanied by a few more or less important updates, but announcements for the rest will be… discreet. Thus, the iPad Pro 11 and 13 inches would not be released before the first half of 2024 – they can use an OLED screen to be forgiven. If the other iPads (mini, Air and entry-level) need to be updated, it will only be a minimal update of the SoC, suggests the journalist. Bloomberg.

Same story on the Apple Watch side, only it will gain some power. In addition, the AirPods will not benefit from any notable updates in 2023 – the AirPods Max 2 at the time… Apple TV 4K, updated in 2022, will not be affected by the evolution this year either. Only the return of the large format HomePod will still be relevant. But Mark Gurman immediately piques our interest: “I don’t expect anything revolutionary from this”, he wrote. The innovation is related to the improved touch panel and the introduction of the S8 seen in the Watch Series 8.

In the end, only the iPhone will survive these cuts? A priori yes for the hardware part. Needless to say, this is still – and still is – Apple’s main source of income. The iPhone 15 could benefit from some great new hardware. The entire range will be entitled to Dynamic Island and USB-C, while the Pro models will ditch the steel for a stronger titanium frame. They will also accept haptic buttons for volume adjustment. Also, with a bit of luck, their SoC may be compatible with the device’s hardware acceleration ray tracingalready supported by high-end processors from Qualcomm and Mediatek.

On the other hand, the software part of iPhones also had to tighten its belts. According to Mark Gurman, the efforts to complete xrOS and several iOS 16 setbacks may thus cost iOS and iPadOS 17 codenamed Dawn some new key features. But the new version of Apple’s operating system is not the only one affected. Sunburst, codenamed for the upcoming macOS 14, will also be affected.

Apple’s mixed reality headset, hailed as a messiah by a restless market, should open the doors to two new markets. First, virtual and mixed reality devices, which are currently dominated by Meta without any real competition – it seems that this is the competition that the market needs. The second is the market for augmented reality glasses, which the Cupertino giant is targeting thanks to the technological flow that Apple has mastered so well. The market that many analysts see as the Grail of the future, the Eldorado that will eventually replace the smartphone. We understand better why Tim Cook is willing to sacrifice some small products and even new features of the flagship OS.



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