As Apple Inc launches its regular stream of upgrades for operating systems for the iPhone, iPad and Mac at its annual Developer Conference on Monday, analysts and developers will be searching between the lines for any hints about how a mixed reality headset might work in the future.
Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said the headset will likely use these cameras to pass a view of the outside world onto a high-resolution screen that can overlay digital objects in a physical setting and could arrive in March next year. Such a device would be Apple’s first foray into a new class of computing devices since the Apple Watch shipped in 2015 and would put it in direct competition with Meta, which has revealed plans for a mixed reality headset icon called “Cambria” to be released this year.
But neither Sage nor the other developers and analysts interviewed by Reuters expect to get a sneak peek at the headset on Monday.
Instead, they’ll be looking for buried hints about the future device such as improvements in how Apple devices handle augmented reality scenes. Andrew McHugh, co-founder of an app called Vivid that lets users virtually step inside their own videos and photos. Apple previously introduced features such as spatial audio for its wireless headphones, in which sounds change when users turn their heads.
While a headset isn’t likely on Monday, Apple may announce an updated version of its Mac Pro computer, which is aimed at users like developers who need a lot of computing power and is the last device in Apple’s lineup to use an Intel central processor. This machine will likely feature a powerful processor made up of multiple Apple Silicon chips combined with advanced packaging technology, said Ben Bajarin, head of consumer technologies at Creative Strategies.
The Apple Store https://www.apple.com/store was offline Monday morning, a move in the past that was followed by the addition of new products to the site.
Analysts expect that some of today’s biggest conclusions will be updates to core products like the iPad. Bloomberg reported that Apple plans to overhaul the device’s operating system to make it better for working with multiple apps and a keyboard. Such a move would reflect the fact that high-end iPads have powerful processor chips like Apple’s Mac computers, but also features that these Macs don’t, such as touch screens and cellular data connections.
For years, Apple referred to the iPad as everyone’s computer. Now it seems like the Mac is everyone’s computer. If so, where do you take your iPad? ‘ said Tom Mainelli, group head of consumer and device research at IDC.
Mac sales grew 23% to $35.2 billion in Apple’s latest fiscal year, buoyed by a combination of increased purchases of work-from-home laptops and its introduction of its own line of Apple Silicon chips to power the machines. Bajarin said Apple may roll out new features designed to make Macs easier to use in corporate environments in a bid to gain market share from PC makers that rely on Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system.
“I think we’re on the cusp of Macs in the enterprise,” Bajarin said.
Bloomberg reports that Apple may release a new version of its MacBook Air laptop, one of the best-selling models for students and most office workers, with a new chip called the M2, although some analysts like Bajarin believe Apple may salvage its debut. This model is later in the year when the company typically offers products aimed at consumers. (Reporting by Stephen Niles of San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)