Why I'm nervous about the rumoured Apple VR headset

We've been hearing about the rumoured Apple Reality Pro VR headset for what seems like years now. Like the Apple Car and the foldable iPhone, the date for its release seems to keep being pushed back – assuming the product actually exists. But the latest reported delay sounds a little worrying.

An Apple VR headset would be the world's biggest tech company's first major new product category in several years. That means Apple would have a lot riding on it, and it needs to get it right (see the best Apple deals for discounts on current products).

Apple VR; a render of a rumoured VR headset that looks like ski goggles

A render of the rumoured Apple VR headset (Image credit: Antonio de Rosa / Apple (logo))

Apple VR headset render

(Image credit: Ahmed Chenni, Freelancer.com)

Of all the rumoured upcoming Apple products, the Reality Pro VR headset is the one that sounds most advanced and closest to launch based on the sheer amount of purported information that's being doing the rounds. We've seen what it might look like and heard about how it could work. Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has a good track record when it comes to predictions on all things Apple, had suggested the device would be revealed in spring.

However, Gurman now says that the expected announcement has been put back until the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. He says that, according to "people familiar with the matter," that's because product testing showed that "both hardware and software issues still needed to be ironed out."

Microsoft HoloLens 2

Microsoft's HoloLens 2 (Image credit: Microsoft)

Obviously, if Apple does launch the Reality Pro VR headset, it needs the product to impress from the outset, not least because it's entering an area where there's already competition. So it's a bit worrying that the reported 'issues' were so severe as to delay not just production but even the device's preview.

All of this is rumour, and so far Apple has not even confirmed that it's working on a VR headset. The company chooses its products wisely, and doesn't tend to just jump into new areas because other brands are. And VR headsets have yet to really take off. But with the Microsoft already making strides in the area and the Meta Quest Pro now out (see prices below), this does seem like an area where Apple won't want to be left behind.

The rumours have it that the Apple Reality Pro VR headset will provide virtual reality and mixed reality functionality through exterior cameras and sensors. It will be controlled by hand and eye tracking, and the whole thing will, we believe, be powered by new Apple software, which is being referred to as xrOS for now. 

The price? It's expected that it would probably cost similar to Microsoft's HoloLens 2 at around $3,000. There are now a wide range of VR headsets on the market at difference price points, but Apple needs to pull off something special if it's to help the technology finally break through – see our guide to the best VR headsets for more options.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.