Apple has been providing AR invitation experiences prior to previous events (without expectation of AR products).
As @rvz said "it's always about what they don't show you in their updates".
The hint that stuck out for me is that despite process change (to 5nm) Apple didn't do a song and dance about the increase in speed from the previous generations, and instead compared their speed to the competition. They didn't even mention the SoC for the new Apple Watch.
This combined with the new Object Capture (photogrammetry) API only coming to Monterey (and not iOS) makes me thing that the mobile configuration of the chips (and more so the power requirements for this type of workload) are probably not where they need to be to support AR at this time.
These tea leaves are only around the chip / power and don't even touch on everything else that is required for AR (hear optics etc).