Apple’s New Headset: Buy or Bust?

Why is Apple talking about announcing a $3,000 mixed reality headset when it’s clear the $2.7 trillion colossus hasn’t pulled together all of the pieces?

That’s the question The Wall Street Journal poses today in an interesting piece about what would be the launch of Apple’s first new product category since the debut of the Apple Watch way back in 2015.

People who have tried the device say that it’s worlds apart from existing products such as Meta’s Quest Pro, citing its superior performance and immersive capabilities. Also, Apple has designed the device so that users can see what’s around them, which could possibly reduce the nausea that many people feel when they use devices like these. (The company is doing this via outward facing cameras.) And finally, it’s an Apple product, which will undoubtedly mean something to the company’s many diehard  fans.

The rumor is that Apple will announce its new headset at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Still, insiders grumble that the device doesn’t have a killer app, and it will require a battery pack, a bulky addition that probably would have caused Steve Jobs to burst an aneurysm.

And, did we mention that it costs $3,000, three times more than Meta’s most expensive headset?

While the price of Apple’s headset would be a good thing if it had the potential to sell tens of millions of units, few think there is massive, pent-up demand for yet another metaverse or virtual reality product. Indeed, both Walt Disney and Microsoft recently shuttered their respective divisions.

“Apple is absolutely standing on top of the many bodies that are trying to climb up that mountain,” Rony Abovitz, the founder and former CEO of Magic Leap, a much-hyped augmented-reality startup that has fallen on hard times, told the Journal.

What puzzles us is this: Tim Cook is a numbers guy. He doesn’t take a lot of wild bets. Either he is so desperate to show that Apple can innovate without Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, or there is something there. 

As corny as it sounds, we can’t wait to hear him say those magic words, “And one more thing.”

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