Apple executive Dan Riccio heading up AR and VR headset development

Apple last month announced that Dan Riccio would transition to a new role focusing on a new mystery project, reporting to CEO Tim Cook. Now, Bloomberg News reports that Riccio is heading up Apple’s AR and VR headset development.

Dan Riccio will work on a new project after an remarkable career that began in 1998.
Dan Riccio will work on a new project after an remarkable career that began in 1998.

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

That new project is overseeing the team developing future Apple AR and VR headsets, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Riccio, who joined Apple in 1998, was responsible for this team as part of his previous job, but now he’ll be doing so on a full-time basis.

Riccio’s move is similar to the approach taken last year by Phil Schiller, the company’s former marketing chief. Both executives left senior roles but held on to areas that needed extra oversight. In Schiller’s case, it was the App Store and public relations, and for Riccio, it’s the AR and VR headsets. This strategy helps keep key longtime executives at the company.

While [Riccio] has ultimate oversight of the [AR/VR] project, it is led day-to-day by Mike Rockwell, an Apple vice president who has well over a thousand engineers working on the two devices.

MacDailyNews Take: Also, Gurman reports an important sidenote: “Apple has also told staff it is moving the group working on in-house displays and camera technology to Johny Srouji, the executive in charge of processors and cellular modems. The move suggests the company is getting closer to shipping its first devices with fully custom displays, replacing those from outside suppliers. Apple has a facility near its Silicon Valley headquarters developing MicroLED screens.”

When Apple begins to use their own custom-designed displays, it will mark an important moment for the company as displays are often one of the most expensive components. It will also reduce Apple’s reliance on rival Samsung, a South Korean dishwasher maker known for poorly knocking off Apple’s iPhone and iPad, among other things, for over a decade now.

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