Apple demonstrated its VR device internally. Some employees aren’t convinced it will be successful

The year 2023 appears to be the year Apple will enter the virtual and augmented reality device market with a new premium “mixed reality” device. It’s scheduled to be officially unveiled at WWDC in early summer, and a demonstration of the VR headset for Apple’s top 100 people recently took place at the company’s headquarters. It seems, however, that a number of employees aren’t exactly convinced that the device will be successful in the market.

Apple’s VR device gets final internal demo before launch

Bloomberg reports that “the Top 100,” Apple’s top people, mostly in the executive suite, saw a demonstration of Apple’s new virtual reality device in the Steve Jobs Theatre, the usual venue for Apple’s product launch conferences on the headquarters campus. The device has reportedly been around since 2018, and such demonstrations have been held every year since, but this should be the final one before they unveil the product to the general public.

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There are a few voices inside Apple, however, who don’t seem to be happy with the device. Eight Apple employees told the New York Times on condition of anonymity that the device will be very expensive and appears to be a “solution in search of a problem.” Unlike the phone, watch, laptop and other products Apple sells that are “better” versions of what’s on the market, a $3,000 VR device doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

Primarily because the VR market is already pretty small, and competitors are already offering devices at 10% of that price, to half of it. Rarely do VR devices exceed $1,500. Furthermore, it will be dependent on an external battery, which will only provide two hours of battery life. It’s not until next year that Apple is reportedly planning a release of a smaller, lower-performance model that comes in at half the price.

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Initially, sales will be weak compared to the company’s other products

However, it seems that Apple does not plan to produce or sell too many Reality One devices. The company says internally that it expects to “play” in this market segment for the long term, attempting a similar strategy with the Apple Watch. Initially, Apple expects 1 million units sold in the first year, hoping to increase public and developer interest. As a product that will grow over time, Apple will not make its usual profits on this initial device. In fact it will be sold at a loss, with expected first year revenues of $3 billion after $8 billion invested in its development over the past few years.

But it could be the most powerful VR device on the market, coming equipped with an Apple M2 chipset, the same one found in the company’s recent computers.

sources: Bloomberg, Apple Insider, New York Times

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