Apple Inc.’s first groundbreaking hardware product in nearly a decade, a mixed-reality headset expected in June, should jolt a flagging metaverse market — but it will not necessarily revive it overnight. Apple
executives are cautious about sales of the $3,000 headset, which will reportedly be called Reality Pro or Reality One. They expect to sell about 1 million of the headsets in the first year, or $3 billion worth, according to a Bloomberg report. That would put the headset on a similar trajectory as the Apple Watch —itself hardly a hit product out of the gate.
“Any metaverse device launched into the consumer space is likely to struggle for traction given the likely high price point and the lack of content available for the platform,” Richard Windsor, an analyst at Radio Free Mobile, said in a note Monday. He added that the device is unlikely to make a tangible difference to Apple’s bottom line. The technology has yet to catch on, Windsor told MarketWatch, because it has so far been unable to “deliver a decent user experience.” The entry of Apple into any market — think phones and watches — legitimizes that market with consumers. But the metaverse, which has been long in gestation and has yet to break through with the general public despite years of hype, isn’t a typical market. Hardware sales have lagged amid a dearth of apps, prompting Meta Platforms Inc.