Exactly two weeks, then Apple should present its first mixed reality headset. Years of preparation are behind the product – the manufacturer has been working on the device since 2015. There were always major challenges. The actual plan to deliver real computer glasses was initially abandoned in favor of a classic combined AR/VR device – now it should appear in a few years, if at all.
cost and criticism
It is already clear that Apple will spend a lot of money on its headset, which is probably called Reality Pro. Production costs are said to be at least $1,500 per device, according to an estimate last week based on information from Asia. So far, it is certain that the Reality Pro costs at least $3,000 for end customers, and certainly a little more in Europe. According to the financial news agency Bloomberg, Apple is said to have given up plans to sell the headset at a loss – that’s not the company’s nature either.
Internally, criticism of the project has reportedly not died down. As early as March it was said that Apple’s management was by no means in agreement about the chances for the project. Bloomberg is now writing that central bosses such as CEO Tim Cook, software boss Craig Federighi or Apple Silicon head Johny Srouji are “keeping their distance” from the project. Cook’s way of not deciding on product details like Steve Jobs was once again evident here.
Apple had reportedly planned to release the device as early as 2020. Then there were hardware and software problems. The group is currently expecting sales of less than a million units in the first year, although it had originally hoped for three million units.
Real AR glasses in four years
Apple is currently expecting to be able to present the first real augmented reality glasses in four years. This was also the original idea: A device that could replace the iPhone and enrich the environment with data. That was once the idea of ex-design boss Jony Ive, who is said to have been involved in the project until a year ago. He also made sure the Reality Pro is a standalone device that works without an iPhone – albeit with a cable-attached battery pack. The headset should also have an outer screen so that other people can see the user’s eyes.
Overall, however, Apple is “well prepared” for the introduction of the Reality Pro, believes Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has good contacts in the group’s supply chain. Apple’s suppliers, who are supposed to deliver M2 processors, OLED screens, cases and at least a dozen cameras, will also benefit from this. Meanwhile, the latest information comes from the area of trademark law: Apple already had the trademark in 2017 “Deep Screen” registered via a mailbox company. It remains unclear whether the term will be used – it could stand for virtual reality experiences. Another newly discovered brand is called “xrProOS”, which was only registered last week. It follows xrOS, which is supposed to stand for the operating system of the headset. Why there should be a Pro version for this remains unclear. Other brands are “Reality One”, “Reality Processor” and “Optica”.
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