Apple’s long-anticipating mixed reality headset won’t be the only piece of hardware it announces at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who’s published a new overview of the event. Expected launches include new MacBooks, as well as a “major” update to the Apple Watch’s watchOS software.
Let’s start with the Macs. Gurman doesn’t explicitly say which macOS-powered computers Apple could announce in June, but lists around half a dozen devices it currently plans to release this year or early 2024. There’s an all new 15-inch MacBook Air, an updated 13-inch MacBook Air, and new 13-inch and “high-end” MacBook Pros. Meanwhile on the Mac side Apple still needs to replace its last Intel-powered device, the Mac Pro, with an Apple Silicon model, and it also reportedly has plans to refresh its all-in-one 24-inch iMac.
A “major” new WatchOS update
Bloomberg’s report notes that “at least some of the new laptops” will make an appearance. The bad news is that none are likely to run Apple’s next-generation M3 chips, and will instead ship with M2-era processors. Apple apparently also has a couple of new Mac Studio computers in development, but Bloomberg is less clear on when they could launch.
Over on the software side, which is WWDC’s traditional focus, watchOS will reportedly receive a “major” update that includes a revamped interface. Otherwise, we could be in for a relatively quiet show on the operating system front as iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS are not expected to receive major updates this year. Gurman does say that work to allow sideloading on iOS to comply with upcoming EU legislation is ongoing.
But, the star of the show is likely to be Apple’s new mixed reality headset, which is expected to offer a mix of augmented reality and virtual reality. The device is reportedly called the “Reality Pro,” will run a new Apple operating system called xrOS, and the company is expected to use its WWDC keynote to pitch developers on making software for the headset. In January, Bloomberg reported that the headset will feature advanced features like hand tracking, eye-tracking, support for digital avatars in FaceTime calls, and a digital crown that’ll let the headset switch between AR and VR. It’s expected to be expensive at around $3,000, and offer two hours of battery life via a tethered battery pack that the wearer puts in their pocket.
All told, WWDC 2023 could end up being one of Apple’s “biggest product launch events ever,” according to Bloomberg. Be sure to check back on June 5th when The Verge will be covering all the announcements live from California.
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