Apple’s blockbuster AirPods sales bode well for ‘Apple Reality Pro’ headset

In 2023, Apple will unveil the company’s next big computing platform, a mixed reality headset that supports both virtual reality and augmented reality. AR / VR headsets are currently a small market by Apple standards, but the company’s huge division of headsets shows just how big Apple can make what was once considered a niche product.

Antonio DeRosa's Apple VR / AR viewer concept
Antonio DeRosa’s Apple VR / AR viewer concept

Max Chafkin for Bloomberg Businessweek:

Its code name is N301, although brand documentation suggests its real name may be Apple Reality Pro. Those documents, and the first few words, suggest that the device’s components are likely to blow up Facebook-made VR headsets. Sony and HTC. The Apple version of VR appears to look better, run faster, and feature more immersive graphics.

Apple has been working on his headset for seven years, and the project now has around 2,000 employees, including the guy who previously ran virtual reality development for NASA. Today’s VR market, however, is still tiny by Apple standards. According to market research firm IDC, Facebook, which has renamed itself Meta Platforms Inc. as part of an expression of its commitment to the metaverse, as virtual reality is sometimes described, accounted for nearly 80% of the headsets sold. last year. The entire business represents just over 0.5% of Apple’s overall revenue, which sounds less like a fundamental strategic shift and more like what the company makes by selling great iPhone cases.

…[Enter] arguably the tech industry’s biggest success story of the past decade: AirPods.

Apple doesn’t disclose sales of its headphones – its quarterly documents bundle AirPods with its watches, home speakers, and other accessories – but outside analysts say it sold around 120 million pairs in 2021. Estimates from IDC and Bloomberg Intelligence suggest that the AirPods account for about half of the sales of what Apple calls “Wearables, Home and Accessories,” its fastest growing line of business. From 2016 to 2021, sales in this category increased by 245% to $ 38 billion. Piper Sandler Cos., The investment bank, estimates that 3 out of 4 US teens own AirPods. Apple has set the standard for wireless headphones and turned a free accessory into a $ 200 must-have.

MacDailyNews takes: The first “Apple Reality Pro” mixed reality headset will be crushed by the usual suspects such as “too expensive”, “lacking in content”, “weird looking”, “the most expensive headset in the world and it doesn’t appeal to corporate customers because it doesn’t a keyboard, which makes it not a great e-mail device ”, etc.

The fact will be that Apple’s smartgoggles will be expensive, interesting and niche, but it is Apple’s subsequent smartglasses that will change the world.

The big and “expensive” VR headset will exist, in part, as a means for developers to create the next AR killer apps for real, lightweight, and powerful Apple smartglasses. – MacDailyNews, February 4, 2021

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