Apple's VR/AR project is in trouble, says report

Apple workers struggling to get support for new VR/AR headset

Apple logo headquarters California
(Image credit: Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

A new lengthy report has dived into the ongoing development behind Apple's rumoured AR//VR headset, something that the tech giant has been working on for quite some time.

As outlined by The Information (opens in new tab) (via MacRumors (opens in new tab)), Apple has been working away in secrecy for years on an augmented reality / virtual reality headset that who knows might potentially replace the iPhone someday in the future. It's now been reported that multiple delays along with technical and leadership challenges have constantly plagued development of the device.

The most notable extract is surrounding Apple's internal teams and how they have struggled to receive further support from other sectors of the company. Headed up by Mike Rockwell, who formerly was a hardware leader at Apple and executive at Dolby, it was revealed that his team were situated in Sunnyvale, several miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. This was supposedly done to help "preserve the group's invisibility to the rest of Apple". 

T3 has reached out to Apple for comment. 

"In early 2018, for example, one of Rockwell's team members asked Apple's camera hardware engineering group to add a firmware feature that would improve the speed with which the headset's cameras could capture images and reproject them in a display," reads the report. 

"Rockwell's group wanted to include the feature in a prototype headset ahead of an important demo for Apple's top 100 employees, known as the T100. The member of Rockwell's group was told the headset wasn't a priority and his group would have to wait until after the iPhone XS shipped later that year."

The full report (opens in new tab) is worth a read for anyone interested in the technology while also peeling back the curtain on the development process at Apple. The long-rumoured Apple AR / VR headset is expected to be announced sometime in late 2023, however, nothing official has come from Apple as of yet. 

In fact, earlier reports suggested that the device would launch in 2022 before its own AR glasses would follow sometime in 2025. Clearly, the former looks to not be true with the timeline potentially much further down the line than many anticipated.  

Matthew Forde
Staff Writer

Matthew is the Staff Writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattForde64