What is really causing the delay in the release of the M2 MacBook Pro?

What is really causing the delay in the release of the M2 MacBook Pro?

Until recently we believed that Apple would release new M2 MacBook Pro models this year. Specifically, the M2 Pro and M2 Max variants of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, with November as a possible release window.

However, we then learned that Apple would not launch new Macs in 2022. Reports said that the next MacBook Pro update would arrive sometime during the first quarter of 2023, possibly alongside macOS 13.3, which Apple is developing internally.

There are many valid explanations for Apple’s decision. The economy, new lockdowns in China, and Apple’s own development cycles could all be to blame. But what if the real reason is a device that appears to have nothing to do with the MacBook Pro M2 upgrade? The real reason could be Apple’s first mixed reality headset, which will basically be a head-mounted Mac running on the “realityOS” operating system.

When will Apple release AR/VR headsets?

Mixed reality denotes experiences involving augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) on the same device, focusing on the latter. Apple Reality One/Prowhich is a possible name for the headset, it will look more like a bulky VR headset than a nimble pair of goggles.

But we saw plenty of reports in recent years that Apple’s approach to mixed reality devices would set the standard in the industry. And everyone will be quick to copy Apple’s example, including companies that have been making VR headsets for years.

Apple Mixed Reality Glasses render - bottom view.
Rendering of Apple Mixed Reality Glasses – bottom view. Image source: Ian Zelb

How does all that relate to the delayed release of the M2 MacBook Pro? All of these AR/VR headset reports painted the same general picture. The device will be unlike any other in the industry. It will offer users access to entertainment, communication, games and all kinds of other applications and experiences without being tied to a computer or iPhone.

The mixed reality headset will run on a powerful Apple chip, and the latest rumors claim that it will be a version of the M2. Previous reports pointed to the device running an M1 variation.

As a result, mixed reality headsets should be at least as powerful as a basic MacBook Air or Pro, if not even better. And it will run an iOS-based operating system optimized for virtual and augmented reality experiences.

Will the M2 MacBook Pro launch coincide with the reveal of the AR/VR headset?

Rumors also say that Apple could introduce AR/VR headsets early next year during a special event dedicated to this new type of product. But it will take several months for the headphones to hit stores, just like the original iPhone, iPad and the first Apple Watch.

I’m just speculating at this point, but what if Apple delays the MacBook Pro M2 announcement so that all of these devices launch at the same time?

An immediate benefit would be selling new MacBooks in the first quarter of 2023, several months before the Reality Pro device hit stores.

16-inch MacBook Pro
16-inch MacBook Pro released in late October 2021. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The other actually refers to the processors that power these devices. Apple may want to keep some of its silicon advances under wraps when it comes to the M2 Pro and Max chips.

Perhaps Apple’s new CPU and GPU innovations would inform rivals about the kind of hardware mixed reality headsets would have to offer. If the M2 MacBook Pro models were released in November 2022, several months before the AR/VR headset is revealed.

Or making the M2 chips that will power all these unreleased devices is a more challenging process. Apple is simply making sure it has enough inventory for the new laptops and headphones.

Then again, this is just speculation. The simple realities of today’s economy might have convinced Apple not to go ahead with a new laptop launch later this year. In addition, we have no guarantee that the AR/VR headset reveal It will take place in early 2023. In any case, the usual leakers will spill more details soon.


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