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Apple Said To Be Working On A High-Priced Standalone VR Headset As Debut Mixed Reality Product

Apple is reportedly making a play on the VR market.
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“Apple is reportedly working on developing a high-end virtual reality headset for a potential sales debut in 2022,” Bloomberg and TechCrunch report.

Why It Matters: Virtual reality is an industry still in its early phases. The move could represent Apple having a few similar to Facebook, where there’s value in continuing to invest and iterate in VR products. Though, Apple has made a significant investment in augmented reality on the iPhone and seems more optimistic about that technology path.

The Details:

  1. It seems to be a similar size and weight to the Oculus Quest.
  2. The device will include its own built-in processors and power supply, possibly featuring a chip more powerful than the M1.
  3. It will focus mainly on VR but could also feature some AR features.

Coming To A Conclusion: An Apple VR headset sounds high-tech, high-performance and high priced, so it’s fair to assume it would only expect to sell a small volume of the device. But the process of building this one could “develop efficiencies and lower the production costs of technologies involved, in order to pave the way for more mass-market devices later.”

  • Bloomberg reported the VR headset is in the late prototype phase and Apple AR glasses, which previously seemed likely as the tech giant’s first mixed-reality product, could follow by a year or more.

The Final Word: These plans could change or be canceled altogether. The headset would reportedly cost more than other VR devices on the market, which ranges up to almost $1,000.

Justin Oh:

The iPhone was transformational because they delivered a product everyone uses, the mobile phone, and made it 10x better than the competition. Tesla ($TSLA) is doing the same thing with cars.

Apple seems to be struggling to deliver a potentially ubiquitous product that is 10x better than the rest. Apple Car is simply copying Tesla. And VR is a frontier product with a clear leader in Oculus.

I believe the best white space for Apple is in AR glasses. If they can perfect the experience there and combine it with the iPhone and Apple Watch experience, it could be a hit.

Although it’s encouraging to see Apple exploring new hardware products, which is their core competency, in search of their growth curve, it’s apparent that they are struggling to find a viable path that moves the needle.

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