Apple's VR headset sounds impressive... but we won't see it this year

The next Apple event (Far Out) is set for Wednesday September 7, and Apple fans are sure to be in for a treat.

Alongside the iPhone 14 announcements that we’re expecting we’ll also likely see the new Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch SE 2, and maybe even the AirPods Pro 2 grace Apple’s stage in Cupertino.

But one Apple product that is all but guaranteed to not appear is the Apple VR headset; so don’t get your hopes up - it probably won't appear in 2022 at all.

Apple Far Out event scheduled for Sept. 14

The Apple VR headset release date is still Far Out (Image credit: Future / Apple)

The Apple VR headset – which trademarks reveal is probably going to be called the Reality Pro or Reality One – hasn’t been officially acknowledged by Apple, but that hasn’t stopped a steady stream of rumors pouring out of California over the past few years. The leaks not only revealed its existence but have given hints about its features and the various development challenges it has faced.

These challenges have seen Apple’s VR headset face several delays, with its current release apparently scheduled for sometime in early 2023. Over the past few months, several sources have corroborated the launch year as 2023, making an announcement at this September 2022 event highly unlikely.

But beyond the rumored release date there’s another reason we don’t expect Apple’s VR headset to show up: the iPhone 14.


Analysis: Apple can't upstage the iPhone 14

Two angled silhouetted iPhones with question marks over the top on a split color background

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

For Apple’s other 2022 events (such as WWDC 2022) we had thought that the 2023 rumor might be incorrect. Not only because fewer sources corroborated it then but because the events themselves felt like they could benefit from the shock and awe factor that an Apple VR headset announcement would bring. That’s not the case for an iPhone announcement.

Be it out of love or hate, the new iPhone often attracts a lot of attention. Apple stans will, unsurprisingly, be ready to celebrate its upgrades, while its detractors will be keen to share unfavorable comparisons to the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, and Samsung Galaxy S22 – pointing out its ‘upgrades’ are insignificant or have been on android for years.

Either way, the iPhone 14 will be filling up your newsfeeds for the next week or so.

Apple Store Brompton Road Knightsbridge London - iPhone 13 range

Apple can't risk upstaging its iPhone nor having the smartphone outshine the VR headset (Image credit: TechRadar)

If Apple were to also show off its VR headset, then it would only be doing one or both of the gadgets a disservice. Either the uniqueness of the headset will see the iPhone 14 not captivate the news cycle as expected, or the popularity of the iPhone 14 will see the headset lose out on precious time in the spotlight – time it needs if Apple wants to showcase the device as a worthy rival to Meta’s already popular Oculus Quest 2, and upcoming Project Cambria.

With these factors in mind, the Apple VR headset is likely going to be absent from this and the rest of Apple’s 2022 events. The same is also true of its rumored AR smart glasses – the so-called Apple Glasses – as these are rumored to be launching even later (read 2024).

Interested in learning about gadgets that probably will be at the next Apple event? Here's why the expected high-end iPhone 14 Pro Max could save you money in the long run.

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