You’re probably not going to buy Apple’s mixed-reality headset

Apple on June 5th is widely expected to unveil its first mixed-reality headset. It is expected to cost $3,000 which will put it out of reach for all but the most enthusiastic early adopters.

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)

Eric J. Savitz for Barron’s:

TD Cowen analyst Krish Sankar weighed in Friday with a research note laying out his forecast for sales, and pointing out some potential issues for the new Apple device.

Sankar thinks the first device will be in a related category called XR, for “extended reality,” which blends elements of the real world with virtual objects and experiences. He expects the first device to be priced at $3,000, and to initially appeal to early adopters and software developers. Sankar’s forecast is for sales in 2023 of between 500,000 and 1 million devices. If he’s right, that would imply a boost of well under 1% to annual revenue.

The Cowen analyst thinks Apple will follow up next year with a VR headset, which presumably would compete with market leader Meta Platform’s Quest headsets. He expects that device to be priced at $2,000, which is about twice the price of Meta’s high end Meta Quest Pro.

MacDailyNews Take: 500,000 is quite low. We bet Apple does significantly better than that, even to a limited audience. One million+ in unit sales for 2023 is doable.

There are uses and applications for a high-quality AR/VR headset that’s ensconced in the rich Apple ecosystem (macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS) that nobody, including Apple employees, have yet imagined. — MacDailyNews, May 23, 2023

Earlier this month, our Little birdie told us that one selling point of Apple’s mixed-reality headset that has been imagined will be the ability to attend 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.

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  1. The quest 2 have that. You can go to a VR theater and watch with others. You can pretend eating popcorn and drinking soda and can interact with others

  2. Not a single practical example of what value VR/AR/MR ski goggles provides to a human’s life.

    There are some commercial applications. But is this thing better at anything than a desktop computer, or a multi-touch mobile device?

    We’ll have to wait and see. Screen size has always been a limiting factor but something like this can open up new possibilities in screen size and how a person may interact with windows and elements on the display.

    I’m very skeptical though because having to wear ski goggles is just mostly a non starter: it really limits the practical application of this in the real world.

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