Why Apple’s Mixed Reality headset could be a costly mistake

Apple is expected to launch its first mixed-reality headset at WWDC in June, but a new report claims some within the company aren’t convinced the product is ready for prime time. Apple’s first mixed reality headset is expected to be a costly device aimed at professionals and developers, but reports indicate the company is also working on a more affordable alternative for consumers. However, it is rumored that the second device will not be launched until 2024 or early 2025.


According to Financial times, Apple is going ahead with the launch of its mixed reality headset, despite objections from the company’s industrial design team. According to the report, Apple’s operations team wanted to go ahead with the launch this year, though the design team wanted Cook to wait longer for the design to be refined before launching it to market. However, according to senior Apple insiders, the company was bankrupt “huge pressure” to ship the device this year, after being delayed several times in the past. Eventually, Cook agreed with operations chief Jeff Williams and gave the go-ahead for a WWDC 2023 launch.

Related: A WWDC debut for Apple’s mixed-reality headset is bad news for iPhone users

Apple’s AR/VR headset is becoming a niche product

Apple VR headset concept on custom background

With the big reveal reportedly set to take place this summer, there are concerns that Apple could rush the launch to cash in on the metaverse/VR buzz instead of waiting for the product to be ready. As things stand, the headset could resemble thick ski goggles, while Apple’s design team wanted Cook to delay its launch “until a lighter version of AR glasses became technically feasible.” However, that is expected to take several years, which could result in billions of dollars in lost revenue for Apple.

Aside from the fact that it could be a half-baked and unwieldy product, Apple’s first-generation mixed reality headset could also be priced too high to make a realistic impact on the market. The device is rumored to cost a whopping $3,000, which would make it a niche product meant for a select few. Apple already knows this and would target sales of just one million units in the first 12 months after launch.

However, some industry insiders believe that even that goal can be challenging. According to the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) and Apple insider Ross Young, that would even be one million units “way too high” a target, given the astronomical price. If the rumored price turns out to be correct, that would make Apple’s upcoming headset three times more expensive than the Meta Quest Pro, which launched for $1,500 last year but now costs $1,000 after a $500 price cut in early March.

Apple is known for its attention to detail and resolute focus on design, but if the FT report is correct, the upcoming headset could be a significant departure from the norm. While no one expects it Apple to ship millions of units of its first-generation MR headset, the opinions of early adopters and experts will be crucial in determining its success (or failure) in the marketplace.

More: Apple Eyed NFL Sunday Ticket for the upcoming AR/VR headset

Source: Financial Times

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