Apple's first mixed reality headset will be expensive, but the company has high hopes...

nanoguy

Posts: 1,243   +24
Staff member
The big picture: Apple's first-gen mixed reality device will be expensive and won't ship until sometime next year, but the company appears confident it will sell over one million units within a year of launch. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta is scrambling to become the Android of mixed reality experiences and expects to launch an XR headset known internally as Project Cambria sometime in the coming months.

Apple expects to unveil its mixed reality headset sometime in January 2023, and the rumor mill has been abuzz with hints about it in recent months. For one, the Cupertino giant will supposedly lean on the Chinese market for the new device to improve its chances of success. Presumably, Chinese consumers have a higher appetite for exotic, aspirational products like AR/VR headsets.

Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims the company has high hopes for this mysterious device as it plans to ship around 1.5 million units by the end of 2023. Kuo believes this will be Apple's "next revolutionary consumer electronics product after the iPhone," which is a pretty ambitious boast.

The media event in January is supposed to convince investors that innovation is very much alive at Apple and that it can still come up with products that invite imitators to copy every aspect of the user experience. The company will also talk extensively about use cases, ergonomics, and the software development opportunities around a mixed reality headset.

Kuo says Apple has yet to decide on a price tag for the new device, but it will most likely be in the range of $2,000 to $2,500. In theory, it could go even higher, but the company doesn't want to risk missing its target of 1.5 million headsets shipped by the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Apple is working on a more affordable mixed reality device, but it won't be ready until 2025 or later. Additionally, the company will reportedly unveil an AR-only headset in 2024 that is supposed to be the start of a decade-long transition away from the iPhone.

Apple showed the first-generation mixed reality headset to its board in May, but we know very little about the hardware powering these devices. According to several supply chain insiders, the device will use custom silicon with processing power similar to its M-series chipsets in the newest MacBook Pro refresh. Engineers have faced various challenges in dealing with thermal management and the digital signal processing of camera inputs. There has been some speculation that Apple will use 8K displays for the headset, yet another challenge.

This month, Korean publication The Elec learned that Samsung and LG are working on OLED on silicon (OLEDoS) tech, specifically designed for augmented and virtual reality applications. This type of microdisplay is thinner and can reach a higher pixel density when compared to traditional OLED tech, thanks to its silicon substrate.

For instance, Samsung plans to achieve pixel densities of over 3,000 ppi and a maximum display brightness of 10,000 nits by 2024. Both companies have already laid the groundwork for LEDoS tech featuring even higher pixel densities. However, Sony is currently the leading OLEDoS manufacturer, and up until now, analysts believe it is the go-to supplier for Apple's first-gen mixed reality headset.

On the software side, Apple has done an even better job of keeping things secret. We know that Cupertino will likely dub it "realityOS," thanks to some obscure references found by developers combing through the App Store's upload logs and source code. But that's about it.

Overall, it looks like it won't be long before Apple dives into the consumer mixed reality sector, where companies like Google and Microsoft have had little success. The Cupertino giant appears determined and even hired Meta's former communications director for Reality Labs and Oculus hardware, Andrea Schubert.

Speaking of Meta, no other company is more invested in the AR/VR space. The social media titan recently went through an expensive rebranding process and burned billions of dollars to quickly pivot from a social-media-focused company to one centered on conquering the metaverse.

The metaverse concept heavily relies on augmented and virtual reality, so much so that the reprioritization chaos ensuing at Meta is affecting employee morale. For Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, his company is now involved in a "deep, philosophical competition" with Apple — one that will define the future of the Internet and shape the mixed-reality ecosystem. In other words, it will also determine the fate of Meta as a company.

Also read: The Metaverse: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

Zuckerberg sees Apple as a direct competitor wanting to apply the same principles that govern iOS and the App Store to create a closed mixed reality ecosystem. Meanwhile, Meta is trying to build something akin to Android or Windows, where multiple partners can develop ideas of their own crystallized into various hardware offerings and services.

Tim Cook's standpoint is that mixed reality will be just one component of Apple's future that has already taken off on the iPhone and iPad. More importantly, Cook expects to retire as soon as 2025 — but not before he has the chance to oversee the launch of "one major new product category."

While he may not share Zuckerberg's vision of the future of the Internet, it will be interesting to see if a Cook-powered Apple can repeat the resounding success seen with the iPhone.

Image credit: Dima Solomin

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Prrredictable

Posts: 67   +29
I've used Apple products as long as hundreds of millions of others have. I love the ecosystem. ~$2,000-$2,500 is not a competitive product when the Quest 2 is selling for $400. That kind of pricing will completely turn off folks who may be interested in VR. You may transition current customers into a more premium product, but not new ones.
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,092   +4,130
TechSpot Elite
I know there are a lot of Apple die-hards, but it won't gain any mainstream traction unless it supports other stores (aka PC). Something Apple doesn't like to do these days. VR/AR is too niche to exclude the gaming segment.

So, if someone can't replace their Vive, Oculus, or other headset with it no issues, no chance it'll be very successful.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 447   +765
Don't worry, even if it's really really expensive, the members of the cult , will buy it

We own about every apple device. Most are competitively priced with competition. This product is a bug, huge big *** PASS. No way in hell we would spend that much. I was thinking in the 600-800 range max. What a ripoff.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 447   +765
HAHAHAHA .... with the cost of everything else going up they expect to sell a million??? Doubtful, very doubtful.

The Asian markets live for this stuff. Go to Japan, so many “arcades. Everyone is buried face first into their phones and robot lovers. Not everyone, it it’s a thing over there. The society is so difficult socially that many opt for technology over biology
 

Axeia

Posts: 46   +45
The society is so difficult socially that many opt for technology over biology
Well, your definitely right when it comes to breast milk in that regard. In general in China it's seen as a bad substitute to formula, something for poor people.
(Many studies however show a wealth of benefits when using the natural product. From more intelligent kids that develop faster to a better immune system)
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 447   +765
Well, your definitely right when it comes to breast milk in that regard. In general in China it's seen as a bad substitute to formula, something for poor people.
(Many studies however show a wealth of benefits when using the natural product. From more intelligent kids that develop faster to a better immune system)
Which is pretty sad.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 394   +263
We own about every apple device. Most are competitively priced with competition. This product is a bug, huge big *** PASS. No way in hell we would spend that much. I was thinking in the 600-800 range max. What a ripoff.

What Apple charges for storage and RAM on their computers isn't competitive at all.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 394   +263
The Asian markets live for this stuff. Go to Japan, so many “arcades. Everyone is buried face first into their phones and robot lovers. Not everyone, it it’s a thing over there. The society is so difficult socially that many opt for technology over biology
There aren't that many arcades in Japan or are there a bunch of robots either. A few article talking about Japan's tech doesn't represent the entirety of the country. Most of the country is a decade or more behind technology wise. It's a cashed based society that still use fax machines and non-smart phones.
 

YouShallNotPass

Posts: 42   +89
Let me guess,

$2,000 is the 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD version and
$2,500 is the 16 GB RAM, 512GB SSD version

Storage is expensive in apple device after all.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,076   +3,967
TechSpot Elite
The success of this product will depend ENTIRELY on how many mindless Apple devotees are willing to part with that much cash for a device that would be objectively inferior to everything else at the same price point. That has always been Apple's modus operandi.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 447   +765
The success of this product will depend ENTIRELY on how many mindless Apple devotees are willing to part with that much cash for a device that would be objectively inferior to everything else at the same price point. That has always been Apple's modus operandi.
I consider myself pretty bound by Apples Ecosystem, but will pass on this overpriced crap. I agree with you though. I know so many people in the Apple Camp that are so "Ohhhh Ahhhh" with everything Apple produces, who knows what the sales will be.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,076   +3,967
TechSpot Elite
I consider myself pretty bound by Apples Ecosystem, but will pass on this overpriced crap. I agree with you though. I know so many people in the Apple Camp that are so "Ohhhh Ahhhh" with everything Apple produces, who knows what the sales will be.
I'm sure that the Apple ecosystem has its advantages otherwise you wouldn't use it. You're clearly not one of the mindless AppleBots, you only use Apple products because they serve your purposes, not because you worship the company. :laughing:
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 447   +765
I'm sure that the Apple ecosystem has its advantages otherwise you wouldn't use it. You're clearly not one of the mindless AppleBots, you only use Apple products because they serve your purposes, not because you worship the company. :laughing:
It’s pretty secure and easy to manage all of my families devices without much worry of permissions, hacking, etc. so it serves a purpose. We all use windows PC’s for work and gaming And apple for portable media and phones. The cellular aw is nice and don’t have to carry a phone as well. But there is absolutely no allegiance to the masters at apple. Lol
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 131   +165
I've used Apple products as long as hundreds of millions of others have. I love the ecosystem. ~$2,000-$2,500 is not a competitive product when the Quest 2 is selling for $400. That kind of pricing will completely turn off folks who may be interested in VR. You may transition current customers into a more premium product, but not new ones.
Yes but when Apple releases their's everyone will say and say Apple invented VR and everyone else just copied Apple...lol We have seen Apple do crpa like this some many times in the past and always get away with it because they take someone else's work change a few things here & there and bam they just reinvented the wheel so to speak.

Heck back before Mr Job's passed away he even as much said that is what they do and he was proud of that. Don't believe me just look it up on the internet..lol