A report by the Financial Times claimed that the operations team, led by Jeff Williams, wanted to ship the headset as soon as possible, even if it is bulky, expensive and of limited appeal to consumers. Meanwhile, the design team wants to wait until a lightweight AR glasses product is feasible. The decision rested with company CEO Tim Cook and he reportedly sided with the operations team.
Why Cook backed operations team
The report mentioned that Cook and Williams took into account the state of the market and believed that it would make sense to enter the fray now. They believed in the idea of iterating and improving the product over time.
“Apple’s operations team wanted to ship a ‘version one’ product, a ski goggle-like headset that will allow users to watch immersive 3D video, perform interactive workouts or chat with realistic avatars through a revamped FaceTime. But Apple’s famed industrial design team had cautioned patience, wanting to delay until a more lightweight version of AR glasses became technically feasible. Most in the tech industry expect that to take several more years,” the report said.
Tim Cook has been at the helm of the company after Steve Jobs. It is under him that the company saw massive success as it steadily built business and dominated the segments where it competes. The Apple mixed reality headset will be the second major new product under Cook after Apple Watch in 2015. Given that Cook will be at the company for years to come, his strategy to improve products over time is likely to work in the company’s favour.
Even if the first-generation headset may not be a hit due to bulky design and high price tag, a more affordable model – which is already said to be in development – lower-priced second-generation headset device could be well-received.
Apple mixed reality headset
Apple mixed reality headset is reported to come equipped with dual 4K OLED displays and advanced eye-and-hand-tracking sensors. It could be expensive – approximately $3,000 – but the company expects to sell about a million units in the first year, as per a report by 9to5mac.