Prior to Apple's XR Headset debuts at WWDC23, Gossip surfaces about the Company's Executive being aloof or wary about the new device
In late March we were told that Apple's "Top 100" watched presentation on their upcoming XR Headset and the response was reportedly low key, striking a realistic tone that it wasn't going to be a smash hit out of the gate and would like follow a similar trajectory as the reception of Apple Watch, acccording to Bloomberg.
Two months later and Bloomberg has a new take on the matter, with a series of negative twists. The first is that Apple is considering selling the new XR Headset at a loss after revising potential sales at 900,000 units. Though have recently changed it to selling it at cost. Secondly, that Apple's long-awaited headset project has reportedly suffered from a lack of vision, varied executive support and shifting use and design approaches.
This isn't the type of press Apple needs before launching and exciting new device. Especially when the report points to Apple's CEO as one of the problems for the headset's lack of vision.
Unlike Steve Jobs who worked hand-in-glove with Jony Ive on every product design feature, Cook distanced himself from Ive and it's likely one of the reasons for his departure. Cook is a supply chain executive at heart and focuses on sailing the company through trecherous market conditions. He's actually the very best CEO for that. On the creative side, no so much.
The Bloomberg report states that the augmented reality headset has been in the works for years but has reportedly been hampered by Cook’s “relative noninvolvement,” Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the project.
Cook’s approach is quite different. “He’s the complete opposite of Steve in terms of having strong opinions on the minutiae,” a person familiar told Bloomberg. Cook isn’t alone in keeping his distance, Bloomberg reported.
Top executives including Apple software chief Craig Federighi and hardware executive Johny Srouji have both shown concern about the project, Bloomberg reported. Federighi seemed “wary” and kept his distance, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar.
And finally, Apple's VP of Hardware Technology, Johny Srouji, reportedly compared the headset effort to a “science project." For more, read the full CNBC report.
In a recent interview with GQ's Zack Baron, he asked Cook if the fact that neither Google Glass nor, more recently, Meta’s Quest have made much of a dent in the marketplace might make him wary of attempting to try to manufacture something in that same space.
Cook paused and then steered the conversation back to Apple’s own history of success in areas where people might have doubted its chances. "Pretty much everything we’ve ever done, there were loads of skeptics with it. “If you do something that’s on the edge, it will always have skeptics."
Cook said that when Apple decides to enter a market, he asks himself the following questions: "Can we make a significant contribution, in some kind of way, something that other people are not doing? Can we own the primary technology? I’m not interested in putting together pieces of somebody else’s stuff. Because we want to control the primary technology. Because we know that’s how you innovate."
When Patently Apple first covered Apple patents about a new device that was an iPod with telephony, basically describing some kind of mobile phone, the critics came out of the woodwork laughing at the thought that Apple even thought that they could take on Motorola. The same was true with Apple's initial tablet patents. Critics told me that if Microsoft failed at tablets, how could Apple ever succeed? As the saying goes, naysayers are a dime a dozen.
So it's not a great surprise that critics are pessimistic about Apple's upcoming XR Headset. Though I am surprised that there are still those within the company willing to whisper to the press tiny negative snippets of comments made by lead executives that may or may not be true. In this case, it's likely to be nothing more than useless Gossip.