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Tim Cook ‘Pushed For Apple Headset Launch’ This Year

Tim Cook ‘Pushed For Apple Headset Launch’ This Year

Apple Chief executive Tim Cook is said to have pushed for the launch of the company’s expected ‘mixed reality’ headset midway through this year, siding with Apple’s operations team despite objections from his design unit industrialist, who argued that the technology was not yet mature enough.

The timing of the launch has been a source of tension since the project began in early 2016, according to a FinancialTimes report citing unnamed sources, with the operations team pushing to release a “version one” product while the industrial design team pushed for a delay until the headset can be made lighter.

Industry observers widely expect the headphone launch to finally go ahead in early 2023 after seven years of development, twice as long as the iPhone.

The fact that the launch is continuing partly reflects the growing influence of the operations team, following the departure of longtime design chief Jony Ive in 2019THE FT said.

Sony's PlayStation VR.  Image Credit: Sony Apple Headphones
Sony’s PlayStation VR headset. Photo credit: Sony

Focus on operations

The design team now reports to COO Jeff Williams, and Cook has reportedly sided with Williams in pushing for the launch to go ahead this year.

Apple only expects to sell around one million units of the headset in its first year, with the product expected to sell for around $3,000 (£2,492), three times that of Meta’s Quest Pro.

But even that low figure would represent around 10% of the VR headset market, which shipped around 10 million units last year, according to CCS Insight.

The launch is said to be primarily intended to pique the interest of Apple’s early adopters and developers, leading to app development.

Image Credit: Oculus/Meta/Facebook apple headphones
Image credit: Oculus/Meta/Facebook

Slow start

These apps could make the device more attractive and fuel new sales, in a process similar to the rapid growth of the iPhone.

Despite the modest sales target that Apple is planning a massive marketing campaign for the product, the FT said.

Bloomberg reported in January that Apple still plans to moving forward with the launch this year of its mixed reality headsetbut delayed that of his rumor lightweight augmented reality glassesdue to technical difficulties.

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