Apple’s mixed-reality headset has been in development since 2016, and the wait is said to be over. No doubt you’ve heard that CEO Tim Cook is pushing to officially announce the new tech at WWDC 2023, but recent reports suggest we may have to wait a little longer. Depending on where you get your news, you’ll know that there’s a chance we won’t see the headset on shelves until at least mid-to-late 3Q2023.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple insider and known source of information on the company, explained that “Apple isn't very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the astounding iPhone moment.”
The iPhone took half the amount of time to develop yet was welcomed by the tech community with open arms. It’s rumored that there’s dissent among Apple’s ranks — and not just about rushing to present the headset at WWDC 2023 in June.
Kuo went on to say that “The main concerns for Apple not being very optimistic regarding the market feedback to the AR/MR headset announcement include the economic downturn, compromises on some hardware specifications for mass production (such as weight), the readiness of the ecosystem and applications, [and] a high selling price (USD 3,000-4,000 or even higher).”
There are reports of disagreement over the headset’s readiness for WWDC 2023. The infamous design team is said to lean on the side of patience, preferring to wait until a more lightweight version can be manufactured. Effectively, launching a headset when the available technology equals the company’s vision.
Cook is keen to press ahead. Both Cook and Jeff Williams, COO, are said to be controlling development, steering from the old structure that would’ve acknowledged the design team’s objections.
Whether or not the headset will be demoed at WWDC 2023 is yet to be confirmed. But, Cook has overruled the concerns of it not being ready for mass production.
Not a lot is known about the headset right now and there are major concerns about the alleged $3,000–$4,000 price point. No official images have been released, either, though parts of the design have been reportedly leaked.
What doesn’t need to be speculated on, however, is the benefits Apple’s new headset will bring to both existing and emerging industries. According to research, the global virtual reality in education market size is expected to hit USD 13,098.2 million by 2026.
Apple’s reliability in putting out comprehensive, top-shelf tech products—from the iPhone to the Apple Watch—will directly contribute to the growth and application of VR/AR/MR in this industry; as well as others.
VR is already making a big dent in construction and retail, as well as providing a space for businesses to unite their remote teams. For example, according to Goldman Sachs, there are 1.4 million real estate agents using VR right now to showcase properties to potential buyers.
As for retail, G2 states that total expenditure on VR in the retail industry will reach new heights of $19 Billion by 2030. Just see what Clinique has created to modernize the way it promotes its products and brand story.
Apple has positioned itself well as one of the leading providers of sought-after tech. There’s a level of trust and respect given to its products that we expect will encourage industries to adopt VR now instead of when it becomes the norm later.
Though the yet-to-be-confirmed cost is out of touch with everyday consumers, we expect industries on the cusp of modernizing will recognize that the headset’s advantages outweigh the hefty price tag.