Apple has reportedly showcased its highly-anticipated mixed-reality headset to the company’s top 100 executives at the Steve Jobs Theater. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, this event was a key milestone ahead of the headset’s planned public announcement in June. The presentation aimed to get Apple’s top members of staff excited about the company’s next major platform.
Apple’s Mixed-Reality Headset: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
While senior Apple executives have received sneak peeks of the device since 2018, the latest demonstration was described as a far more significant event. Gurman reports that it was “polished, glitzy, and exciting,” indicating the company’s high hopes for the new device.
However, despite the growing anticipation for the device’s launch, Gurman suggests that the headset is likely to face several challenges upon release. The device is expected to start at around $3,000, which is significantly more expensive than most virtual reality headsets currently available. Additionally, the device is expected to lack a clear “killer app” that would incentivize consumers to purchase it.
Mixed reality — a category that melds augmented and virtual reality — is still a nascent area and far riskier than Apple’s earlier attempts to establish new beachheads. With the Mac, iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad, the company was essentially creating a better version of a product that people were familiar with. With the headset, Apple will have to explain to consumers why they’d want to own such a product at all.
Other potential issues include the headset’s design, which some testers have found to be uncomfortable, and the need for an external battery that will require frequent replacement. Furthermore, the device is likely to launch with limited media content, which could limit its appeal to consumers.
As a result of these potential issues, Apple executives are said to be “striking a realistic tone within the company.” They recognize that the device is unlikely to be a hit right out of the gate and that it may follow a similar trajectory as the Apple Watch.
Despite these challenges, Gurman believes that the mixed-reality headset is likely to make Apple the market leader in this space within a few months of launch. The company’s executives anticipate that consumer interest will grow as subsequent iterations of the headset launch at lower price points in the future.
Overall, Apple’s mixed-reality headset is one of the most highly-anticipated products in the tech industry. While it is expected to face several challenges upon release, the company’s top executives remain optimistic about its potential to revolutionize the virtual and augmented reality space.