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Apple will be extending their Apple TV Merchandizing with Nike and a Review of those behind Apple's XR Headset Team

1 cover Apple TV Merchandise(Click on image to Greatly Enlarge)

Back on April 04, 2023, Patently Apple posted a trademark report that covered Apple TV in  context with selling Merchandise like Soccer Jerseys and more. Our eport noted that according to Apple's trademark application # 97796866, Apple is likely to enter the "merchandizing" business as could be seen in their International Class 025 description here: "Clothing; clothing jackets; sports jackets; fleece jackets; down jackets; wind resistant jackets; rain jackets; shirts; t-shirts; sports shirts; tank tops; athletic uniforms; sweatshirts; hooded sweatshirts; sweaters; scarves; jerseys being clothing; sports jerseys; shorts; pants; warm up suits; sweat suits; gloves; gloves for apparel; ties as clothing; neckties; soccer bibs; European football bibs; sleepwear; underwear; socks; wristbands as clothing; footwear; sneakers; headwear; caps being headwear; visors being headwear; sun visors being headwear; hats; headbands."

Today, in Mark Gurman's Power On Newsletter he noted that Apple has another new product category up its sleeves, literally. Apple in partnership with Nike Inc., plans to begin selling Ted Lasso merchandise for $35 and up on the Apple online store. 

The move is designed to promote the hit TV+ show in what could be its last season. Nike has been selling the gear for months, but this will mark the first time that Apple offers clothing tied to TV+ content (it’s previously sold Apple-themed gear at its company store in Cupertino, California). The apparel will be available in early June, and retail stores will promote a QR code to point shoppers where to find it online.

A Review of the Key Team Members behind Apple's XR Headset

Mike Rockwell: Rockwell is in charge of the product and has led its development since around 2016. He has helped craft the vision for the headset and the Technology Development Group itself, and oversees engineering of the product — from hardware to software to services. While there has been skepticism that the device will become a smash hit, some are optimistic simply because of Rockwell’s involvement. “He’s an utter genius and if anyone can get this done, it’s him,” said a person involved in the development who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Look for Rockwell to be one of the faces of the headset when it’s introduced.

Jeff Williams: Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, has been a driving force in the headset’s development for the last few years. He’s often seen as an heir apparent to Cook, and the current CEO has leaned on Williams to make the product a success. He’s in charge of Apple’s design team — including the human interface group that has conceptualized many of the device’s use cases and its overall vision. His group is also in charge of manufacturing the equipment itself, which is known internally as the most complex product Apple has ever designed.

Dan Riccio: Riccio is Rockwell’s boss and the conduit between the Technology Development Group and Apple’s top executive team. He has worked exclusively on the headset over the past two years, following a stint as Apple’s hardware engineering chief. He’s likely to retire not too long after the headset’s release, and some involved in the development believe Riccio sees this as a legacy-defining product. He previously oversaw two other products — a full TV set and a car — that were either canceled or delayed.

Paul Meade: Meade is Rockwell’s most senior lieutenant, handling hardware engineering for the device. He was one of the top hardware managers for the iPhone until 2017. That’s when he shifted his focus to the headset, tasked with turning the device into a product that Apple could actually ship. Before Apple, he led hardware development for the Sidekick and Microsoft Corp.’s short-lived line of Kin phones. Reporting to Meade are two more key figures: Fletcher Rothkopf and Ray Chang. Rothkopf, a former intern on the iPod team, was a senior design executive for the Apple Watch before being tapped by Rockwell as the lead designer of the headset. Chang leads the teams developing underlying electronics.

Jony Ive: Though Ive had already moved to a part-time role at Apple by the early days of the headset, he was involved in the project since its inception. He pushed the company to avoid the isolating designs that plagued existing VR headsets. He also lobbied for a portable design — without an external base station — and an outward-facing display that would let you see the eyes of the user. And he wanted a smooth transition between virtual and augmented reality. (The device ultimately handled that task via an Apple Watch-inspired digital crown.) Ive works at his own design firm now, but he remained involved until about a year ago, when his contract with Apple ended.

Jeff Norris: Norris was an early hire on the project, joining in 2017 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to help figure out the “killer app” for the device. At NASA, Norris used virtual reality to control spacecraft. The use case for the Apple product has been a little more nebulous, but he sees virtual videoconferencing, meditation and remote collaboration as key selling points. Others on the project remain concerned that there still isn’t a slam-dunk reason for consumers to use the headset. But that could change over time, as has happened with the Apple Watch.

Johny Srouji: Srouji is Apple’s top chip executive, responsible for the M2 processor and other custom components inside the headset. Srouji has been skeptical of the endeavor, internally likening it to a science project. He argued that Apple’s resources would be better spent on new iPhone chips that could drive more revenue than the headset. In the end, Srouji’s team created some of its most advanced chips to date for the headset. But in one setback, Srouji’s group spent years developing a wireless chip for an abandoned feature that would connect the headset to a base station for extra power.

Geoff Stahl: Stahl is responsible for much of the software that will run on the headset, including the new xrOS operating system. He’s also involved in the development of the device’s applications and gaming engine.

For others that will play a part in marketing the device and other Sunday tidbits, read the full Bloomberg report.

10.0F - Apple News


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