Among the most anticipated Apple products, one that we're most expecting to see soon is its rumoured VR headset. But it seems that even the company itself might not be entirely convinced by the product.
Rumoured to be named the Reality Pro, The Apple VR headset is widely expected to be announced on 5 June. But things don't seem to have gone to plan for what will be Apple's first major new product category since the Apple Watch.
According to Bloomberg's regular Apple correspondent Mark Gurman, Apple's mixed-reality headset has been beset by setbacks and compromises, while key execs, including CEO Tim Cook, have been keeping a distance (some have already been suggesting it might be best to wait for the Reality Pro 2).
Gurman believes Apple began work on the device in 2015 and at one point was targeting a 2020 release, but that the concept has changed dramatically from "a pair of unobtrusive eyeglasses that could be worn all day" to something more like a traditional VR headset a la Meta Quest/PS VR (or ski goggles). It's also come up against compromises forced by technological limitations in the company as it feels the pressure to bring the device to market.
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Delays were reportedly caused by internal disagreements and stretched resources s well as technological challenges, and Gurman suggests staff have felt frustration due to Cook and other executives' wariness and "relative noninvolvement". Compromises have allegedly had to be made in the device's functionality as an external monitor for Macs as well as for multi-person video calls. The company apparently now hopes that third-party apps will save it, with talks underway with entertainment companies and software and game developers in a bit to get apps ready by the time the device launches.
In theory, it seems that Apple's intention is still for users to eventually wear a headset all day, with the device replacing computer screens for everything from work and web browsing to gaming, but it's now expecting a phased approach, having also revised down first-year sales estimates from 3 million to 900,000.
Gurman still expects the Apple VR headset to be revealed at WWDC next month. Apple has announced a “special event” at Apple Park for 10am on June 5, which is the usual time for its big tech launches. It's expected to be priced at around $3,000 and aimed at professionals rather than recreational users. For the best prices on current Apple products, see our page of Apple deals.