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Some Apple staff are sceptical about the company's new mixed-reality headset

By Kenny Yeo - on 1 Apr 2023, 9:23am

Some Apple staff are sceptical about the company's new mixed-reality headset

Note: This article was first published on 27 March 2023.

Image source: Ian Zeibo / MacRumors

Word on the street is that Apple will finally unveil its mixed-reality sometime this year. According to Bloomberg, the company recently showed off the device in front of Apple's top 100 executives at the Steve Jobs Theatre. 

It was said to be a glitzy affair worthy of an official unveil or a typical Apple event. However, not everyone is excited and feeling optimistic.

According to a report by The New York Times, some employees are unsure if the device is ready yet and others are sceptical about its prospects. Some have even exited the project because of their scepticism.

There are good reasons to be cynical. Many of these people question "if the new device is a solution in search of a problem." Unlike previous Apple products like the iPod, iPhone, and even the Apple Watch, the development of the headset "hasn't been driven by the same clarity."

Some say the headset lacks a killer app. And when you couple this with the fact that it'll cost around US$3,000 and will require a hip pack with battery support, it's hard to see why anyone would want to use it daily. 

Furthermore, Apple's rivals, Google, Meta, and Microsoft all have some sort of mixed-reality glasses and, thus far, none of them can be considered to be a success.

Of course, Apple is unlike these companies in that it enjoys an almost fanatical fanbase, and surely that will contribute to some sales. But even then, Counterpoint Research, a market research firm, thinks Apple will ship less than 500,000 headsets a year.

Still, there's reason to be hopeful. When the Apple Watch first launched, the company wasn't entirely sure what it was for and portrayed it to be an extension of the iPhone. But over time, after learning what consumers really wanted and liked about it, pivoted and started marketing more as a fitness and health accessory. We could see the same with this new mixed-reality headset.

Source: Bloomberg, The New York Times

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