This morning Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with disappointing news about Apple's first generation mixed reality headset. Kuo published a string of tweets as presented below.
Apple's AR/MR headset development is behind schedule due to issues with mechanical component drop testing and the availability of software development tools. This will result in mass shipment of this device being postponed from the original 2Q23 to the 3Q23 or later.
As a result, it is increasingly unlikely that Apple will hold a media event for the new device in January. At this point, it seems more likely that Apple will announce the AR/MR headset at a spring media event or WWDC based on the current development progress.
It's already a market consensus the AR/VR headset device will be the next critical growth driver for the optical industry. The market previously expected Apple's MR headset, which will start mass shipments in 2Q23, would be a spotlight in the low season of the optical industry.
Therefore, the delay in mass shipment of this product may hurt optical industry's near-term market sentiment. Major suppliers of Apple MR headset optical suppliers include Largan (lens), Genius (Pancake), Cowell (camera module) and Primax (eyeball tracking module), etc.
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).
The mass shipment schedule of components is still likely 1H23/2Q23, but due to postponed mass shipment schedule of the end product, Apple MR headset shipment forecast in 2023 will likely be less than 500k units, which is lower than the market consensus of 800k-1,200k units.