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Apple is 'the last hope' to convince people AR/VR is the next big thing

Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset, is seen as the last hope for an industry struggling to sell units according to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple is 'the last hope' to convince people AR/VR is the next big thing
1 minute & 47 seconds read time

Apple is widely expected to announce its first mixed reality headset this June, but that product doesn't only carry the weight of expectation in Cupertino. It could also be the last hope for the AR/VR market as a whole.

That's the claim by supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who posted on Medium that other companies are not doing well in a space that seems set to receive Apple within weeks.

According to Kuo, Sony has already cut its 2023 production plan for the PlayStation VR2 following lackluster sales. Kuo says that Sony's headset plans have seen it slash production by as much as 20%.

It's a similarly sad story for Meta's Quest Pro with Kuo adding that the product lifecycle shipment for the product is just 300,000. On top of that, Pico (the largest AR/VR brand in China) is said to have had to deal with shipments of headsets that were more than 40% lower than predicted.

With all of that in mind, Kuo says that Apple's so-called Reality Pro headset is likely the last hope for the market as it tries to convince investors that such headsets could be "the next star product" moving forward. That suggests that companies are trying to show investors that the AR/VR headset could be the next iPhone or Apple Watch moment.

The iPhone helped spark the move away from dumb phones to the smartphones that we take for granted today. The Apple Watch also took the smartwatch market by storm, causing countless copycat products to appear. It's thought that the market could be waiting for Apple to do something similar with the Reality Pro headset, but it might have its work cut out.

Apple's headset is expected to be extremely costly, with prices north of $2,000 rumored. It's also expected to be heavy and use an external, hip-mounted battery that will only last for two hours between charges.

With all of that, it's thought that the headset could be a flop before it even ships. The headset is expected to debut at WWDC23 on June 5, although it is unlikely to go on sale at that time. Instead, it's thought that Apple will give developers time to get their apps ready ahead of a final release to the public later in 2023.

Apple has been rumored to have plans to launch a future AR/VR headset that would cost considerably less, but it remains to be seen what corners would be cut to meet that price point in the future. Or indeed whether Apple would deem the Reality Pro enough of a success to warrant a second attempt.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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