I doubt the Apple VR headset will succeed. So I said. None of the rumors or leaks I’ve seen have convinced me that Apple’s headgear is more than an expensive novelty and will eventually end up like Google Glass.
However, I am reluctant to admit this publicly. Don’t be the one who makes absolutely terrible technical predictions. I believe the major VR brands already offer much better headset options, but Apple has a knack for sticking logos on devices and scraping the dough.
But today I am ready to go on record. To paraphrase Steve Ballmer (former CEO of Microsoft), Apple VR headsets are unlikely to gain significant market share. No chance. Here’s why:
Apple hasn’t publicly admitted it’s developing a VR headset, but thanks to a steady stream of leaks over the past few years, we’re still getting a pretty good idea of what the device will look and perform. was completed.
Based on what we’ve seen and heard (until we hear something official, we should all take it with a pinch of salt), Apple wearables are slimmer than many existing devices such as the Oculus Quest 2. looks like a nice version. Its design may have been achieved by incorporating the pancake lens seen in the Meta Quest Pro, or a similar compact optical setup.
The pint-sized product still seems to pack a punch, but reports suggest it will have an ultra-clear micro-OLED display with 2,800 pixels per inch. and its features (rumored to be called xrOS or realityOS). It seems to operate using voice commands and hand he gestures, a headset, rather than a regular controller. The built-in camera and sensors can be used to monitor the user’s face and eye movements.
Under the hood, or behind the display, the headset is apparently powered by two different chips. One is XR-focused (XR is an umbrella term for VR, AR, and MR) – either Snapdragon XR2, XR2 Plus, or something similar to Apple’s own design – and the other One is the M2 chip. , Apple’s best is the same chip that powers his MacBooks and Macs.
However, there could be one major disappointment with the headset, which is described as a “laptop in the face” for its expected processing power: battery life. It seems that the headset can only be used in short bursts. Expect battery life as good as the Meta Quest Pro’s about an hour and a half of use.
Oh, and let’s not forget that it probably costs $3,000 (about £2,200 / AU$4,400).
1 headset for the price of 4
Technology can be expensive, especially in an emerging industry like the XR space, and Apple certainly isn’t shy when it comes to launching expensive products, but $3,000 is a lot of money.
To put it into perspective, let’s see what a lot of hard-earned cash can get you. I have a Quest Pro ($1,000), a Pico 4 (about $460 for the 128GB model), a PS5 ($500 on disc), and a PlayStation VR 2 headset ($600), and I still have $10 left over for a coffee and a sandwich. increase. Or, if you’re looking for newer Apple technology, instead the iPhone 14 Ultra ($999 for the 128GB model), the Apple Watch Ultra ($799), the iPad Pro 12.9 (2022) ($1,099 for the 128GB model), and the second The generation Apple Pencil ($129) is slightly more expensive, bringing the total to $3,026.
You probably don’t need 4 VR headsets right now (especially not both quests on Meta). And if you’re buying an Apple headset, you’re probably already invested in that ecosystem. indicates whether
The Oculus Quest 2 has proven that price is a big driver for people looking to buy a VR headset. The very budget-friendly ($400 / £400 / AU$630) headset has sold around 20 million units since its launch, beating out all other Meta/Oculus headsets combined, including the new Meta Quest Pro. Sure, its performance is more limited than recent releases, but it’s still not beaten when it comes to value for money, and people flock to Meta’s hardware for that reason. I’m here.
Aside from the price, another problem with Meta Quest Pro (highlighted in my four-star Meta Quest Pro review) is that its best features (face tracking, eye tracking, color passthrough) seem to be underutilized. It is what you feel.
Given that Apple hasn’t developed an XR experience or worked with XR developers in as long as Meta has, it’s hard to believe the headset will make these features feel so gimmicky and overpriced at launch. Plus, the rumored productivity gains likely won’t be appreciated.
I spent a week working in VR with the Meta Quest Pro on. If Apple intends to make the headset a laptop replacement thanks to his M2 capabilities, I’m already pretty sure it won’t – thanks to his regular MacBook.
Getting too close to HomePod
Every time I hear leaks and rumors about an Apple VR headset, it reminds me of another Apple product, the HomePod.
The original HomePod launched in February 2018 as Apple’s first premium smart speaker. A 3.5-star review of the Apple HomePod praised the device’s “great sound and incredibly intuitive setup,” but its over-reliance on the Apple ecosystem and its $349 / £319 / AU$499 price tag. Applauded the relatively high price. Overall for the price it meant it was a disappointment.
Combined with the fact that it launched after rivals like Google and Amazon dominated the market with affordable yet capable smart speakers (including options like the Sonos One for audiophiles), the HomePod is expected to arrive in 2021. was abolished abruptly in
Apple launched the HomePod 2 in January, but it was announced with minimal fanfare and suffers from the same flaws as the original (the HomePod mini is stuck, but Apple has said little about it lately). .
I suspect Apple’s VR headsets will struggle for exactly the same reasons. For most users in a market that already offers a variety of VR headset options for every budget, this seems too premium. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a recent report suggests that Apple’s designers are nervous about releasing headsets this year.
Siri defines success
It looks like a win-win compared to VR headsets, but somehow Apple managed to pull this one out of the bag.
Rivals such as Samsung and Microsoft consistently produce technology that is on par with or better than Apple’s, but their product launches don’t generate much excitement. Apple fans are a distinct and large group of technology consumers, and they are hungry for new products. Even if someone else does it well, they’re queuing around the Apple store block to get their hands on a new one. That’s why Apple headsets sell well simply because they have the brand’s iconic logo slapped on them.
Speaking of Apple stores, another advantage Apple has over most other VR brands is that they have dedicated retail spaces in major cities around the world. The best way to market VR is to get people to try it for themselves. This is a big reason why WWDC 2023 has long felt like the perfect place to unveil a VR headset. Unlike Meta, HTC, etc., Apple can easily leverage stores and put headsets on people’s faces, so people can try, be surprised, and be convinced to buy.
And even if Apple’s first VR attempt wasn’t commercially successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a failure. Apple reportedly already has plans for him to launch a cheaper follow-up VR headset in 2024, followed by AR Apple Glasses. Similar to the HomePod, Apple seems to be planning to keep VR going for several years, even if the first device doesn’t hit right away.
Apple could also have a big impact on the VR industry in at least one way. It’s privacy. VR headsets increasingly rely on cameras and sensors that record intimate and private data. They are used to determine the layout of the room in which the headset is used and can track eye and facial movements. This data can be invaluable to advertisers, who can, in theory, literally analyze what products you have and don’t have at home, and what catches your eye.
Many XR brands are already transparent about how they handle data and offer extensive privacy controls, but Apple has done more than that when it comes to privacy, singing and dancing about it. I have a trick. Even if Apple’s headsets don’t last long, I think it will play into consumer concerns around VR data privacy. Hopefully Apple’s rivals will be more careful about how they use data.
Enjoy tomorrow’s technology today
I often hear people saying that Apple will revolutionize VR gaming and eventually make it fun, but that’s overselling the rumored headsets significantly. , I think you’re underestimating what we already have. We’ll have to wait and see what they reveal later this year – I’m assuming they announce something – but here’s my advice Don’t expect it to blow your mind.
Instead, if you want to go outside now and dip your toes in, grab a VR headset. I love my Oculus Quest 2. In terms of price, performance, and software, it’s the best so far, but if you can stretch your budget, you can also enjoy Meta Quest Pro. The new PSVR 2 headset looks great too, but you’ll need a PS5 to use it.
And if you’re looking for things to do with your headset, check out our picks for the best VR games, or our roundup of the games and apps you’ve played this month.