Apple is working on a virtual reality headset, but it’s not exactly what you think, and it’s going to cost more than you think.
This is according to a new Bloomberg report, which claims Apple’s first-ever headset will be a niche product, focusing mostly on virtual reality applications such as gaming, video, and chatting. Augmented reality functionality — which Apple CEO Tim Cook once said was more important than VR — will be there, but in a limited fashion.
The price of this device will be high, much higher than you’d expect from a mass-market product. The report doesn’t have exact numbers, but speculates the headset would be “far more expensive” than rival headsets, which range from US$300 to US$900. Apple might look to only sell one of these headsets per day per retail store, the report claims, which would be roughly 180,000 units on a yearly basis. This, again, implies a high price: Apple sells roughly that many Mac Pro computers per year, Bloomberg says, and the Mac Pro starts at US$5,999.
In terms of features, the headset is likely to be battery-powered, have a powerful processor (think more powerful than Apple’s M1 chip), a fan, external cameras (for AR features), and a fabric exterior. It will also have a system that would allow prescription lenses to be inserted into the headset over the VR screens, thus accommodating for people with poor eyesight.
Apple plans to start selling this headset as soon as 2022. However, the headset is in “late prototype stage” and not finalized yet, meaning Apple could still change it or scrap it entirely.
All in all, Apple’s first headset would be more of a precursor to a different headset, which is coming later (possibly 2023, maybe later), and will be lighter, more AR-focused, and more mainstream. Few details are known about this product, which is in a much earlier stage of development.
Reports on Apple’s fabled VR/AR headset have always been confusing. This latest report actually rehashes much of what we read in a late 2019 report from The Information, which also claimed Apple is working on two separate headsets, one coming in 2022, and the other in 2023. But these reports seem to resurface every couple of years, and none of the products ever appear very close to launch. In 2017, a tipster told Mashable that Apple has given up on its AR glasses project, though they did say the company was still building new prototypes. Tim Cook later confirmed that the technology needed to build the product “in a quality way” wasn’t ready yet.
This new report is slightly odd as Apple doesn’t typically launch niche products; the company is known for making technology accessible to the masses. But hey, after a recent report that Apple is backpedaling on several MacBook Pro design decisions, including removing the Touch Bar and adding more ports, everything seems possible.
ที่มา : Mashable