The Apple VR headset is still rumored to be launching at WWDC in June

A person using a generic VR headset impressed by what they see in VR
Apple's VR headset may or may not look something like this (Image credit: Shutterstock / Max kegfire)

It's been a long, long wait for the Apple VR headset to break cover, but the latest unofficial and unconfirmed intel is that the device is finally going to get its grand unveiling at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

This comes from sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal (via 9to5Mac), but the report also notes that Apple is "anticipating production issues" – the headset won't go on sale until later in the year, and mass production won't start until December.

Previous rumors suggested that Apple wasn't going to hit the deadline of WWDC 2023 with this piece of hardware – the keynote presentation is on June 5 – but it now seems that we will get an announcement if not the actual device in our hands.

Those rumors again

The WSJ goes on to reiterate a lot of the leaks that we've heard already: support for both enclosed VR (virtual reality) worlds and AR (augmented reality) interactions with the real world, an external battery pack, and a ski goggle-style design.

We also get another mention of the high asking price, which is apparently going to be around the $3,000 / £3,000 / AU$5,000 mark. It's unlikely that these headsets will shift in the sort of numbers we see with the iPhone and the iPad, but you never know.

Apple does at least seem committed to this technology, even if it's taken a while to get its first product out there: according to reliable sources, more AR/VR headsets are planned in the coming years, which may well come in at cheaper price points.

Analysis: another bold move for Apple

Meta is now several versions into its VR headset series, while other companies like HTC have no problems manufacturing these devices, so what exactly has taken Apple so long? Rumors about Apple entering the AR or VR space have been swirling since the decade before this one.

Clearly Tim Cook and his team are keen to get the technology right and not launch something that falls below certain standards of quality. When the headset does appear, you can expect it to be an impressive and reliable bit of kit, even if it does cost you a substantial amount of money.

It's an interesting market for Apple to enter though. It's fair to say AR and VR haven't exactly gone mainstream yet, so with the tech behemoth that is Apple entering the fray, it's a real test of whether or not anyone actually wants this sort of hardware. It's possible that it stays as a niche technology.

Part of the problem is that there's no real killer application or game for AR or VR, something that makes these headsets a must-buy. Perhaps the strong library of software that Apple can offer will make a difference here – we might see Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro on the headset when it arrives, for example.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.