Officially, the plan is for Reality One, Apple’s VR/AR device that will most likely compete with the Meta Quest Pro, to be just the first step in that direction. In practice, the direction could also be given by Meta, with Mark Zuckerberk’s company for now seemingly sinking with unrealistic ambitions to move Facebook and Instagram users directly into the virtual world.
According to industry sources, shipments of components for Apple’s planned augmented reality accessory have been initially delayed to Q1-2023, with the first working copies of the new gadget not expected to reach buyers before Q2. Further delays due to unresolved issues with the software side are added, moving the official announcement until after the middle of next year.
Another aspect showing the tempering of ambitions is the reduction of units ordered, from 0.8-1.0 million devices to just half a million, and it remains to be seen whether Apple will be able to find enough takers for the new gadget.
The problem is that in the new, more cautious approach, separating the announcement set for January 2023 from a rescheduled official debut after mid-year could prove counterproductive for Apple’s marketing team, with consumer interest lost long before sales start. And any failure could also hit Apple’s partners, with brands such as Largan, Cowell and Primax, directly involved in the development of various components, risking not even recouping their initial investment.
Unfortunately all the rumors so far indicate that Apple’s alternative to Metavers will not have a very affordable “ticket” to entry, with the AR headset developed for interaction with the virtual world costing around $3,000, this being a device based on state-of-the-art technologies, similar to the one already presented by Meta.