With its $3,000 ‘Reality Pro’ headset, will Apple succeed where others have failed?

Apple hasn’t made a major product introduction since it rolled out the Apple Watch in 2015, but with its “Reality Pro” mixed-reality headset, expected to retail for $3,000, the company will be entering into a market that has so far failed to catch on with mainstream consumers.

Designer Marcus Kane's conception Apple’s mixed reality headset (via Yanko Design)
Designer Marcus Kane’s conception Apple’s mixed reality headset (via Yanko Design)

Emily Bary for MarketWatch:

Apple has a history, though, of turning technology categories into trends, and a team of Goldman Sachs analysts says the company might be able to work its magic again with the Reality Pro headset.

“Although we recognize that the [augmented/virtual reality] industry as a whole has generally been disappointing, we believe that Apple’s potential AR/VR headset can succeed where others may have not, given Apple’s points of differentiation relative to competing headset manufacturers,” wrote the analysts led by Michael Ng.

One advantage for Apple is that it has an installed base of more than 1.1 billion active iPhone users who are potential consumers for the new headset. The company can also lean on its large developer base to create compelling content for the device, while itself translating crucial first-party apps like Facetime, Apple TV+ and Apple Music to mixed reality.

“Notably, non-gaming use cases should serve as a point of differentiation for Apple, where we believe that Apple is even more competitively advantaged relative to incumbent virtual reality headsets and ecosystems,” the Goldman team wrote.

The analysts give the example of potential “immersive sports” experiences making use of Apple’s deals for MLB Friday Night Baseball and MLS Season Pass.

MacDailyNews Take: Earlier this month, our Little birdie told us that one selling point of Apple’s mixed-reality headset will be attending live and recorded concerts remotely. Buy a ticket, for significantly less than in-person, and the headset will “as much as possible, be like being there – with extras like changing seat positions.” Apple’s launch last week of new concert discovery and set lists features on Apple Maps and Apple Music lays part of the foundation.

Goldman analysts estimate the “Reality Pro” and successors will contribute $11 billion – $20 billion to Apple’s annual revenue between fiscal 2024 to fiscal 2028.

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  1. the best use for VR headset is serious gamers (not casual mobile gamers) and limited professional use of which apple has no real audience. Outside of a few games there are no killer use for a VR headset. People love computer screens but not 3 inches from their face. Like 3D movies, this is a technology, that after the sizzle has died off, people just won’t use. And a 3k price tag will keep most from ever trying.

    1. Applications for VR will be way beyond gaming. Think system interfaces (as seen in The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions) and education (The Lawnmower Man – granted, that didn’t end well), along with stuff we haven’t even conceived yet.

      Humanity has barely scratched the surface.

      (Also, watching movies in VR will be way more immersive and convenient than on a TV)

  2. I think the key to this release is that it allows software developers to develop apps for this new platform. As time goes on, the physical device may evolve into Apple Glasses, but its important to see what developers will create . . . for anyone who had the 1st iPhone, there was no App Store for the first year — and once developers came on the scene the iPhone evolved into something much more advanced than its first iteration.

    1. as if the world isn’t already overflowing with chinese & russian trolls, orange tinted media entertainment, and corporate doublespeak. we’re already witnessing a generation unable to think for themselves, with a significant portion of them setting themselves up for a life of poverty with their bad life choices. Now another generation of losers will tune out. Who would have expected the company that aired the 1984 ad is now establishing itself to become Big Brother?

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