Apple is set to release long-awaited mixed-reality headsets for $3,000 a pop — three times the price of what rival Meta charges for a similar product.
The high-tech specs will be unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5, Bloomberg reported.
Apple expects its market competitor to be worn continuously each day, replacing tasks like making FaceTime calls, replying to emails, playing games and browsing the web usually done on iPhones or Macs.
The release comes after Meta launched a so-called “portal to the company’s metaverse” last October 2022.
Dubbed Meta Quest Pro, the mixed-reality headset was introduced at $1,500, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company slashed the price to $1,000 months after its release.
Apple’s high-priced headset — which has been seven years in the making — is reportedly a far cry from Cook’s initial vision of sleek eyeglasses designed to be worn all day, similar to prescription specs, and instead resembles ski goggles.
When wearing the goggles, gamers will be able to experience virtual reality and the physical world simultaneously, the company said.
It’ll be powered by a separate, iPhone-sized battery pack that’ll be attached to the goggles by a power cord.
Apple reportedly wanted the battery to be integrated into the headset, but scrapped the idea to reduce the device’s weight and keep it from overheating, according to Bloomberg.
The first-generation product is reportedly in a still-experiential mode, with Apple expecting a slower adoption rate compared to wearable products like its ultra-popular Apple Watch.
It’s expected to be sold under the Reality name.
The company envisions that the product’s eventual adaptation could add more than $25 billion to Apple’s annual revenue.
The iPhone maker has invested billions of dollars to develop the headset throughout the seven-year production process, but the project doesn’t have unanimous support from the company’s top ranks, according to Bloomberg.
Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president for hardware technologies, has likened the device to a “science project,” sources told Bloomberg.
Srouji’s reportedly worked on a team that built advanced chips for the headset, but he remained skeptical that time spent on the unreleased tech could take away from developing new iPhone chips, which he argued would drive more revenue.
Another executive, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering, has kept his distance from the project, Bloomberg reported.
There are also grumblings within the company that mixed-reality devices could be socially isolating, thus stunting their success, according to Apple workers involved in the development process who spoke anonymously to Bloomberg.
The Post reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple’s mixed-reality goggles are entering a saturated market, and will compete against similar products from rivals like the Microsoft HoloLens 2, which has editions made for hardhat workers and has been tested by Army soldiers.
People familiar with Apple’s project said that there’s still improvements to be made, as features like multi-person video calls and external Mac monitor functions are currently less advanced than Apple wants them to be, according to Bloomberg.
In the first year, Apple hopes to sell 3 million units, according to Bloomberg, and has a plan B to scale back estimates to 1 million — a far cry from the more than 41 million Apple Watches sold in 2022.
Trademark filings from last August pointed to possible names the headset could be released under.
Applications obtained by Bloomberg revealed the tech giant’s move to lock down “Reality One,” “Reality Pro” and “Reality Processor” in the US, EU, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Though Apple itself didn’t initiate the filings, the applications appeared to follow the same process the iPhone maker has historically used to secure the names of its products.