The Financial Times claims that Apple CEO Tim Cook sided with operations director Jeff Williams in trying to ship a first-generation mixed-reality headgear gadget this year, over opposition from the company’s design team.
There seems to be a lot of tension inside Apple about when to release the mixed-reality headset. The company’s industrial design team expressed reservations about releasing any products in the category until a lightweight augmented reality glasses product had reached maturity, which would be many years from now.
But, Apple’s operations team sought to release a beta version of the product in the shape of a virtual reality (VR) oriented ski goggle-like headgear that enables users to view 3D films, undertake interactive exercises, and make FaceTime chats with virtual avatars.
Former Apple operations head turned CEO Tim Cook allegedly agreed with Jeff Williams, dismissing concerns voiced by Apple’s designers, and pushing for an earlier launch with a pared-down product. Former Apple engineers who worked on the smartphone revealed the “huge pressure to ship” to the Financial Times.
The AR headset will not sell anything like as many units as the iPhone has in recent years, despite the company’s aspirations to the contrary. One story claims that Apple will only ship one million devices in 2023, and at a speculated price of $3,000 per unit, the company will only make $3 billion from the launch. Perhaps the business will release a more affordable version of the AR headset soon, but this is hardly the best possible launch scenario.