It has been a while since Apple released a new gadget. Not a new model of a line of gadgets, but a new piece of hardware altogether. Soon we may see the release of the first new iGadget since the Apple Watch in 2015; Apple’s AR/VR headset.
Most of Apple’s revenues, over 80 percent, come from hardware sales, namely iPhone sales. The logical next step would be to break into the Augmented and Virtual Reality trough their own headsets.
Apple’s new headgear was originally supposed to be unveiled in 2019 and released in 2020; then, the company planned to reveal it in 2021 before releasing it in 2022, only for the announcement to be postponed until later in 2022 or 2023. Tough the push into AR and VR caused some controversy and disagreement among Apple’s higher-ups, the fact that it was pitched to Apple’s board, however, indicates that they have something concrete to show after years of development.
The upcoming headset, codenamed N301, has been in development since 2015, with the initiative led by Mike Rockwell and overseen by Apple’s former head of hardware engineering, Dan Riccio. The device is being developed by a team of around 2,000 people, named the Technology Development Group, or TDG, and accommodates both VR and AR capabilities. However, Apple is expected to announce a purely AR-focused piece of hardware later in the decade, codenamed N421, though it is not as developed.
Currently, the biggest player in the AR/VR market is Meta’s Oculus goggles, pumping more than 10 billion in investment to see their Metaverse vision come to life. These investments pale in comparison to the profits that the so-called ‘Metaverse’ would offer, however. The global AR and VR market size is forecast to reach around $453 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.7 percent forecast between 2022 and 2030.
Other market forecasts put the total value of Metaverse hardware software and market up in the trillion. Either way, it is a worthwhile arena for the tech giant to step into, and with its reputation for quality and security, the company would be more than a match for Meta and others like Microsoft, who are also playing their own game.