Apple is on track to launch its new mixed reality headset this year, according to various reports that have circulated in recent months. This device, which combines virtual reality and augmented reality, is expected to launch during the company’s global developer conference in June.
However, according to a new report, the decision to launch the device has been the subject of controversy within the company. According to the report, the operations team led by Jeff Williams wanted to launch a technologically advanced device as soon as possible, even if it was bulky and expensive. On the other hand, the design team wanted to wait until it was feasible to develop a lightweight augmented reality device.
Apple’s operations and design teams disagree over the launch of its mixed reality device
Apple is at a crucial moment in defining the future of this initiative. According to the Financial Times, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Williams both acknowledge the state of the market and believe it makes sense to enter the competition now, even if first-generation headphones will be expensive and have limited appeal to consumers. The first-generation device is expected to be priced at around $3,000, due to its cutting-edge technology, including dual 4K OLED displays and advanced eye and hand tracking sensors.
The division between the operations team and the design team is a sign of the evolution of the company’s structure under Cook’s leadership. In recent years, design team leaders have left the company, and Apple has decided not to name a replacement for Evans Hankey, Apple’s Industrial Design team leader, who will leave the company this year. After that happens, the design team will report their work directly to Jeff Williams.
Although the first-generation headphones may not be a huge success by Apple’s normal standards, expect them to be well-received and the company to continue to improve them for years to come. It was also reported that a lower priced second generation headphone device is already in development.
With the launch of his mixed reality headset, Cook leaves his mark on Apple’s legacy. This is the second major new product launch of his tenure as CEO, following the Apple Watch in 2015. Cook has already indicated that he plans to retire in the next decade, meaning the headphones could be the last major product launch for his mandate.