The existence of an Apple Mixed Reality headset has been so widely rumored and reported it’s now essentially become fact – and a host of rumors have dropped this week. But we've been here so many times before, and they don't feel any more likely to happen.
Firstly-respected Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that there are more delays to the Apple headset, but that the company will likely reveal more about its existence at WWDC this June.
Kao states that the delay is due to “issues with mechanical drop testing and the availability of software development tools.”
Rumors this week from The Information also point to an extensive list of hardware and technical features that the headset might feature.
This includes a battery in the form of a waistband, a digital crown for cycling between virtual and mixed reality, and an outward-facing display that shows the user’s facial expressions, to avoid a disconnect between the user and others in the room. You can read the full list here.
The Information also reports that the headset will cost around $3,000, and that a set of AirPods Pro might be mandatory, as there are issues with audio latency using Bluetooth headphones.
And finally, Mark Gurman from Bloomberg has also backed up rumors, in his hugely influential Power On newsletter, reporting that Apple will unveil its xrOS mixed reality platform at WWDC, ahead of a headset launch in late 2023.
So it must just be us that finds the idea of Apple releasing a headset this year so far-fetched.
Firstly, these are all the same people that reported that an Apple headset was coming in 2022.
Surprise surprise, they didn't show. The market wasn't ready in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and we don’t think it is in 2023. Or 2024.
That’s because no one seems prepared to admit that there’s no mass market appetite or use case for VR/AR headsets – and ones that cost $3,000 – at this point.
Meta has been tanking its share price going all-in on the idea of the metaverse.
And while there has been niche uptake in the world of gaming, even PlayStation hasn’t managed to really bring the idea to the mainstream. Can Apple deliver a content experience more compelling than that? We'd love to see it.
The idea of why Apple would bring this to market is baffling.
What would an $3,000 Apple headset do? Play mobile games from the App Store? Support creatives, in the same way, its $3,000 super Macs do? Surely, it would be a reference platform for developers (and investors)– to start generating interest. That may well happen, but a general release? We're skeptical.
Apple has turned itself into a trillion-dollar company making products that everybody wants.
We don’t see why it would reverse that strategy by making something no one wants.
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