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Apple seemingly focused on mixed reality in 2023

Expect fewer device releases and updates this year.

apple logo with apple products blurred in the background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple is apparently focusing its efforts on bringing its mixed-reality headset to market this year.

That’s the forecast from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, who rarely misses in his Apple analysis. He says that while the mixed-reality headset will launch later this year, don’t expect many other Apple launches.

The refocusing to ship the headset will mean that other Apple devices will get marginal upgrades this year. It also means that Apple’s other operating systems could see fewer new features added.

Gurman reckons that minor performance upgrades are the only things most Apple devices will get. That includes M2 Pro and M2 Max chips for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

That means no major Apple Watch upgrades, possibly no new AirPods, Apple TV, or iPad. Some of these products could see chip upgrades, however.

The larger HomePod is still coming this year, but don’t expect it to make huge waves.

The only device that looks to get major upgrades this year will be the iPhone.

Apple’s mixed reality headset is nearly here

apple vr headset render on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie (via The Information’s render leak)

It takes time, resources, and smarts to bring a new device to the market. Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset has already been in development for seven years.

It was initially slated to launch in 2019 and has slipped past estimated launch dates. Gurman reports that some “high-profile developers” already have the final hardware to work on creating third-party apps.

Now it’s on track for an unveiling at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. That will also include the new operating system, xrOS.

The push to get xrOS ready for release has meant that macOS 14, iOS, and iPadOS features have been delayed. Apple doesn’t release in-progress details on software, but expect fewer features to arrive in the fall.

In other news, Gurman notes that battery replacement costs for Apple devices have increased. That could be for any number of supply chain reasons, so expect to pay between $20 and $50 more if you need to replace one.

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