Apple is set to launch its first mixed-reality headset in the coming months, but concerns about its potential for success have been raised, according to a report by The New York Times. The AR/VR headset is expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but some insiders are questioning its usefulness in a largely unproven market, as well as its eye-watering price tag of $3,000.
Several current and former Apple employees told the Times that the enthusiasm for the project has given way to skepticism, with some wondering if it’s “a solution in search of a problem”. The report also stated that some employees have walked away from the project due to concerns about its success, while others have been fired for failing to make significant progress on certain features.
Changes in Apple’s design team have also reportedly impacted the project, with former chief design officer Jony Ive departing in 2019 and his successor, Evans Hankey, leaving earlier this year. The Times’ report comes as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman wrote about a recent top-secret event where the headset was shown to Apple’s most senior executives.
Apple vs. Meta
Apple’s mixed-reality headset will compete with Meta’s $1,000 Quest Pro, which recently received a $500 price cut to boost sales. With the launch of the headset, It will have to explain to consumers why they would want to own such a product, unlike its previous successful launches of better versions of familiar products such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iWatch, and iPad.
Awaiting the Launch
All eyes are now on the expected reveal at WWDC and how Apple will market the headset to achieve success. The mixed-reality headset launch will be closely watched by the tech industry as it marks the company’s entry into a relatively unproven market. While the company has a history of successful product launches, this new product represents a significant departure from its traditional offerings.