Apple’s First MR Headset Fails to Meet Tim Cook’s Expectations

Apple AR Headset

In a recent feature article, Bloomberg stated that after 7 years of research, the final design of Apple’s first head-mounted display device for MR falls short of Tim Cook’s expectations. The report claims that Cook’s initial idea was for a battery – operated lightweight wearable gadget similar to a pair of glasses. This is different from the head – mounted device that resembles ski goggles and is wired to an external battery that the company has at the moment. Tim Cook expects that it will be able to perform simple tasks like web browsing, message replying, and gaming in addition to some of the extra features of the iPhone.

Apple Headset

This objective was not met by Apple’s technical team, and the end result was a headset. Apple had to employ an external means to connect a battery pack the size of an iPhone through a power cord. The user can put it in a pocket or handbag for outdoor use in order to lessen the strain on the head caused by the weight. This will also help the user to avoid too many temperature issues.

Bloomberg noted that while Cook did not become overly involved in product development, he gave it a high priority. This product line might be the last to be introduced under Cook’s tenure. The form of glasses that Cook desires won’t be realised until at least 2027, according to analysts. Mark Gurman predicts that Cook’s term will expire in 2025.

Apple MR headset is very expensive

According to Bloomberg, sales projections are also quite cautious because Apple management is not happy with this MR device. Estimated sales fell from the original target of 3 million units annually to 900,000 units annually. Cost is also another major pain factor. According to previous reports, analysts predict that Apple’s MR equipment would cost as much as $1,600, with approx. one – third of the cost coming from the exclusive supply of Micro OLED panels and 14 CMOS image sensors. To prevent terrifying away users with high costs, Apple’s marketing staff must work hard to strike a balance between pricing and cost.

Minsheng Securities analyzes the cost of the Apple MR headset as follows

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  • The most expensive part of the device is the silicon – based Micro OLED custom screen module. This part is solely from Sony with a price as high as 280 to 320 US dollars. This account for more than 20% of the BOM cost.
  • The second most expensive part is still the 14 CMOS image sensor modules also from Sony. The cost of this part alone is $160. 
  • The dual – processor chip used in the MR head – mounted display is an M-series SoC. This chip is from TSMC and another independent dedicated image processor chip. The estimated cost is 120 – 140 US dollars.
  • Pegatron and Luxshare will receive $110 to $120 for assembly.
Apple Headset
Extended Reality Headset Concept

Analysts value vary

However, a check of the estimates by ITHouse based on different analysts seems to be different. A report from Wellsenn XR suggests that the total cost of Apple’s MR head – mounted display is $1,509. According to the report of Peng Hu’s team, a senior analyst at CICC, the expensive parts are roughly consistent with other institutions’ calculations. Sony’s silicon – based Micro OLED screens account for the majority. In addition, it is structural parts, the total BOM cost is about $1300.

From Minsheng Securities, the mass production of Apple’s mixed reality devices will start in the third quarter of 2023. The production capacity is expected to reach 400,000 to 500,000 units by the end of the year. It will contribute about $3 billion in revenue during the year. The name of this device may be “Apple Reality Pro”.

Mixed reality scientist Brad Lynch pointed out on his personal account that Apple’s Reality Pro would cost twice as much as Meta Quest Pro. Even if the cost is cut down, Lynch believes that the device will still be more expensive. Analysts believe that Apple’s first MR mixed reality device will debut at next month’s WWDC conference.

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