ICT DEVICES

Apple Mixed Reality Headset Will Boost Market, Says GlobalData

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By Catherine Sbeglia Nin

Rumors about a high-end virtual reality (VR) headset from Apple have been making the rounds, suggesting that one might hit the market as soon as January 2023. According to GlobalData, a product of this nature from Apple will boost demand for associated VR and augmented reality (AR) games, apps and services. GlobalData primarily cites the tech company’s loyal customer base and a successful history of entering new markets as the two main reasons behind this prediction.

While Apple has not issued any formal announcements, CEO Tim Cook spoke with China Daily USA, telling the news organization to “stay tuned” to see what the company has to offer in the AR/VR space. “I am incredibly excited about AR … the critical thing to any technology, including AR, is putting humanity at the center of it and that is what we focus on every day,” said Cook, adding that the industry is still “in the very early innings of how this technology will evolve.”

 “Apple is working in VR versions of several of its apps, such as FaceTime. The company has a history of first-rate user interfaces, be it smartphones or wearables or tablets; we can expect its VR clients to be just as good,” said Anisha Bhatia, senior analyst at GlobalData. “And Apple rarely launches a product that is not on par with its standards. The company will also make sure it has a swathe of apps and services that can be used with the headset at the time of launch.”

Apple’s headset will likely have 5G support eventually, but there is reason to expect the first iteration to be Wi-Fi only.

Currently, Meta Platforms owns 90% of the VR headset market and offers more a more affordable product — Apple’s headset is expect to cost approximately $3,000. GlobalData, however, pointed out that Meta heavily subsidizes its VR hardware, a business strategy that will prove unsustainable as competition in this market grows.

“Although price may initially prove to be a hindrance for Apple, its product quality, target market of developers, gamers and content creators, as well as a previous history of market-leading expensive products such as tablets, leads us to believe that Apple’s first foray into the VR headset segment will be a success,” Bhatia said. 

The analyst firm further predicts that consumer mixed reality headsets will generate global revenues of $50 billion by 2030.

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