Apple unveiled a headset designed to act between the virtual and real world at Apple’s annual developers’ conference in Cupertino, California. With a $3,500 price tag, the new headset may see a lukewarm reception from all but affluent techies.
Apple’s goggles toggle between totally virtual or augmented options and a “mixed reality,” external reality, or XR for short. Apple CEO Tim Cook periodically touts augmented reality as technology’s next quantum leap. The response, so far, is less than enthusiastic. Some of the gadgets are derisively mocked, with the most notable example being Google’s internet-connected glasses released a decade ago.
Anticipation that Apple’s goggles will sell for several thousand dollars has dampened expectations. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said he expects the company to sell just 150,000 units during the device’s first year on the market, although Apple sells more than 200 million iPhones, its marquee product, a year. Comparatively, Zuckerberg announced the next Quest headset would sell for $500.
Since 2016, average annual shipments of virtual- and augmented-reality devices have averaged 8.6 million units, according to the research firm CCS Insight. Apple, however, is hard to dismiss, especially with the consumer market and especially when it comes to killer applications and solutions.