Apple Inc. set a June 5 date for the event where it plans to unveil a mixed-reality headset, the first major new product since its smartwatch debuted eight years ago.
The company scheduled its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, better known as WWDC, to kick off on that Monday and run through Friday, June 9. It typically uses the first day of the conference to discuss its next-generation platforms and operating systems. This year’s conference will be held as an “all-day experience” at headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Central to the agenda this time around will be the headset, likely to be dubbed the Reality One or Reality Pro, Bloomberg News has reported. Apple will also showcase the accompanying xrOS operating system and a way for developers to write apps for the device.
The device’s debut will propel Apple into the world of mixed-reality, a still-nascent category that has cost Meta Platforms Inc. billions of dollars and has, so far, failed to go mainstream. Apple is seeking to stand out from rivals with a high-end product that may cost around $3,000 and include many technologies not seen before in consumer devices. The headset will use a combination of eye and hand control, feature an on-board App Store, and offer virtual reality-based FaceTime, 3D versions of core Apple apps and immersive video streaming.
Mixed-reality technology from other companies has been slow to catch on, so Apple will have to make a persuasive case for why its approach is superior. WWDC could be an ideal stage for such an announcement, given its pro-Apple crowd and the ample opportunity for developers to explore the technology during the weeklong conference.
The event will mark Apple’s first product unveiling of the year, following the postponement of a planned announcement for the headset. Earlier in the year, the company announced new versions of the MacBook Pro, as well as an updated HomePod speaker, without an on-stage event. The company is also planning to unveil new Macs in the coming months, including its first Mac Pro model without Intel Corp. processors and a MacBook Air with a larger screen.
Apple may also use the conference to lay the groundwork for upcoming changes across its operating systems to comply with the Digital Markets Act and other upcoming laws designed to rein in its power. The company is planning for a future version of iOS 17 to support external app stores and more interoperability with third-party services, Bloomberg News has reported.