Apple CEO Tim Cook pushes MR headset launch despite concerns from designers

New report hints at internal battle regarding Apple's launch strategy
Wareable/Ian Zelbo Apple CEO Tim Cook pushes XR headset launch despite concerns from designers photo 1
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Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to have ordered the launch of the company's mixed-reality headset in 2023 - despite concerns from the company's design team.

That's part of the latest whispers emerging courtesy of a Financial Times report, at least, which indicates that Cook sided with operations chief Jeff Williams in an internal dispute regarding launch strategy.

While Apple's industrial design team suggested that the form factor and market weren't yet ready for launch, and seemingly wanted to hold out until lightweight smartglasses could be produced, the operations team instead was keen on launching an early version of the technology in the form of a VR-focused headset.

Cook siding with operations appears to be the turning point in the story - and has led to the ramp-up in production and subsequent influx of rumors surrounding the company's alleged Reality Pro mixed-reality headset, currently rumored to be unveiled at WWDC in June. 

The profile also included information from former Apple engineers who worked on the project, who described the "huge pressure to ship" internally.

"They have been postponing the launch each year for the past [few] years," one source said.

Within the company, it's also anticipated that this "version one" product will also be a low seller, with the current plan to ship around 1 million units over the first year. Given the reported price point is set to be around $3,000, that's not entirely surprising, either.

As we've mentioned, rumors and reports have been swirling over the last few months - and this internal squabble (and potential launch) does speak to what feels like a break away from what we've come to expect from Apple.

In fact, we've even pondered why Apple would launch a headset in the current market - though all will likely become clear soon enough.

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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