Loup Ventures's verdict on the reported Apple AR/VR goggle delay (video)

"Long term, this doesn't change anything for Apple." -- Gene Munster

From "Apple’s Headset Delay Is Only a Bump in the Road," posted Friday to Loup Ventures subscribers:

  • It looks like we're going to be wrong on our recent prediction that Apple will show its MR headset at WWDC given development delays.
  • If they miss the WWDC 2022 window, it makes most sense for Apple to hold off on debuting the device until WWDC 2023 given the importance of developer buy-in.
  • While the delay is a headwind to a near term catalyst for AAPL multiple expansion, it's a function of time before investor excitement returns regrading the topic.
  • Long-term this does not change anything for Apple. Whether they show the product in 2022, 2023 or 2024 does not matter. Apple will eventually release a product that will build confidence with investors that Apple has a winning approach to AR and the metaverse.

Cue the video:

From Mark Gurman et al.'s "Apple’s New VR/AR Headset Risks Being Delayed Until 2023" posted earlier Friday:

Apple is considering pushing back the debut of its mixed-reality headset by at least a few months, potentially delaying its first major new product since the Apple Watch in 2015, according to people familiar with the situation.

The headset -- a high-end device that blends virtual and augmented reality -- was targeted for an unveiling at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, followed by a release later in the year. But development challenges related to overheating, cameras and software have made it harder to stay on track, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

That could push the announcement until the end of 2022 or later, with the product hitting shelves by 2023, the people said.

My take: Munster puts the truthiness of Gurman's reporting at 80% to 90%, which is pretty good considering how much news Mark breaks.


  1. Bart Yee said:
    “Underpromise, overdeliver.”

    Get it right the first time.

    No wine before it’s time.

    But perfect is the enemy of good. But Apple is never judged on being just good.

    January 14, 2022
  2. Bart Yee said:
    The Oculus Quest 2, produced by Facebook / Meta and available in 128GB ($299) and 256GB ($399) versions, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 CPU (CPU name maybe subject to change). It’s 3500mAH battery lasts about 2-3 hours of VR gameplay. There are maybe 60 or so larger developers producing content for VR and FB bought a few of them. The 3rd party estimated number shipped or sold per Qualcomm by Nov. 2021 was about 10M. Let’s optimistically assume they sold 1M more by end of 2021 for a total of 11M.

    As far as I can tell, you immerse yourself into the VR world by putting on the headset and some wrist rings to track your arm movements. Hand controllers control Virtual devices (mainly guns and other male power projection implements). I believe it’s important one has a very clear defined space to play in and is clear of objects and furniture you could bump into or trip on. The Oculus is mainly meant to be used standing or sitting only.

    January 14, 2022
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      Bart Y. —

      I’m sorry Bart , but that last paragraph starts to sound like a comedy of errors.

      Strap on all your paraphernalia and go “get real”.

      Tagline…Metaverse — its all over you.

      January 15, 2022
      • Bart Yee said:
        @Kirk thanks. The description I gave sort of mirrors the really nerdy look of people wearing an Oculus while game playing. I watched a few YouTube videos and I can see where you can get a good workout swinging and slashing, lunging and turning like in an Apple Fitness workout so there is that aspect. And looking down at Horseshoe Canyon along the Colorado River is pretty neat so you can see places you might never get to go to. Those are nice VR applications but the hardware still seems rather crude.

        BUT, still my sense is this is not where Apple is primarily after, they want something more useful and can be more ubiquitous in everyday life.

        Telling is a response in an article about Oculus + VR games:
        “Fine, but how’s the p%rn?”

        January 15, 2022
        • Kirk DeBernardi said:
          Bart Y.

          With something strapped to your head commanding your attention, the word “finesse” is the only one that will capture the hearts of the masses.

          Problem is…people’s interpretation of “finesse”.

          January 16, 2022
  3. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    I believe it’s too early to speculate about timing and certainly to speculate about shipping dates for a new wearable line. Of course we’d all like to witness an announcement at WWDC in June. If not, the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west. Interest rates will still rise, share prices will fluctuate and Apple has plenty to consume attention and resources until the moment the new wearables line is announced. As I posted earlier today, whatever the metaverse is, no one will get there quickly without Apple, IMO.

    January 14, 2022
  4. Bart Yee said:
    As a gamer platform, I guess the oculus is a reasonably bigger player, maybe optimistically making $2-3B in hardware and maybe $500M in gaming software. Overall, Statista says the entire VR industry is less than $5B (not counting military?) but expected to grow to $12B in 2024.

    IMO Apple is aiming for much broader AR scenarios that everyday people / non-gamers can experience and find useful in their daily lives. The device is Not necessarily to be used constantly but provide enhanced information and communication options without pulling out other devices.

    Frankly, I think Apple wants to make something that impacts how life is enhanced rather than just how immersive a game is experienced..

    January 14, 2022
  5. Tim Cook wears stylish glasses. I would imagine his opinion of Apple’s AR-type transparent glasses will hold significant sway. These are a type of heads-up display glasses that mass markets and all ages will go for. I see Apple offering these along with another type, a more expensive goggle-style type for gaming and VR. I’ve studied Apple’s patents carefully. Each type are supported by various inventions for which Apple holds the patents. One very futuristic idea offers settings that duplicate common prescription lens types. Those could make the Luxottica near-monopoly and others eyeglass sellers look askance.

    January 14, 2022

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