The planned release of Apple’s mixed-reality headset is only a few months away, but some staff don’t appear to believe the product is ready yet, according to a New York Times report. Others are still pessimistic about the headset’s likelihood of success, especially at a price point of $3,000, even though some employees apparently left the project owing to their reservations.
The headset will likely be unveiled by Apple at its Worldwide Development Conference (WWDC) in June. Apple recently demonstrated the product in front of 100 of the company’s top executives in the Steve Jobs Theater in California, “suggesting that a public debut is getting close,” according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
Yet the Times claims that there was internal conflict regarding the mixed reality headset’s future behind the “glitzy” presentation. Even though that appears fairly typical whenever a business enters a brand-new product area (as Apple has done numerous times in the past), the Times claims that this time is different.
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Answer to a question nobody asked?
Internal doubters have questioned if the novel technology is a problem in search of a solution.
According to the Times, “Some internal doubters have questioned whether the new device is a solution in search of a problem.” The headgear hasn’t been motivated by the same clarity as the iPod, which put digital tunes in people’s pockets, or the iPhone, which combined the capabilities of a music player with a phone.
According to the Times, a spate of leadership exits from the product design team, beginning with Jony Ive’s resignation in 2019 and Evans Hankey’s departure the following year, have contributed to some of this uncertainty. Since then, Apple has not appointed a new head of industrial design and is said to have given engineer Mike Rockwell responsibility for the headset’s development.
The Times reports that some staff are unsure whether the company will delay the debut of the headgear due to misgivings expressed by both employees and Apple executives. This doesn’t appear to be the case, though, as insiders tell the Times that a June launch is still on the schedule and that “headset manufacturing is ongoing” for the anticipated announcement in the coming months.
Is it worth $3,000?
In the months preceding up to the device’s anticipated release, the headset rumor mill has been very active, with speculations suggesting that it may resemble a pair of ski goggles, include a physical crown that allows you to enter and exit VR, and have a physical power pack that fits in your pocket. The $3,000 headgear may initially target developers, but Gurman thinks Apple is working on a less expensive model of the headset that it might release as early as next year.
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