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Apple bet on mixed reality, but the selling point of the product is not enough.

via:新浪科技     time:2023/1/30 11:01:43     readed:120

Mark Goolman, a columnist who has followed Apple for a long time, believes that as Apple's new bet, mixed reality Touxian has attracted a lot of attention, but it is unlikely to be as sensational as the previous iPhone and iPad.

Within Apple, some managers in charge of the new hybrid reality show believe that this category will eventually replace the iPhone as the company's iconic product.

Apple even paints a vision internally that it will eventually develop a headset that people can carry anytime, anywhere. This product can replace not only laptops, but even mobile phones. Despite the high price of the original Apple (about $3000), some insiders believe the device will give consumers an initial taste of the seductive vision.

Is this enough to make this model a success? It's hard to say. Although industry insiders believe that augmented reality and virtual reality will one day give birth to alternatives to iPhone.But the first generation is likely to bring Apple a failure it hasn't seen in years.

Apple's first hybrid reality device, which is likely to use the product name of Reality Pro, will be released this year, with many advanced technologies, including dual 4K displays and a front OLED screen to show users' eyes. It will also use more than a dozen cameras to analyze the wearer's body, eye movements and external environment.

There is no doubt that it is more magical and advanced than any other product on the market. But for most consumers,This device is neither cost-effective nor practical.This is because it has a battery life of only 2 hours on a single charge, cannot be used outdoors, has limited content at the time of release, and is not comfortable enough in design.

  The headset also marks a change in Apple's strategy.When Apple moved into new areas such as music players, mobile phones, tablets and watches, these categories have attracted the interest of mainstream users, where Apple's goal is to develop better products and beat competitors.

In contrast, AR/VR head display is still in the early stage of development.Consumers must be fully persuaded.So that they can try such a product even more.

  Apple has yet to identify a real "killer app" for the device.The company hopes to attract consumers with immersive video playback, integration with other Apple products and advanced VR FaceTime phones, but that may not be enough.

The original iPhone didn't have this problem because people were used to carrying their mobile phones with them every day. By the time the first generation of iPad was released, the world was ready for tablets, which could partially replace laptops or become leisure and entertainment devices.

The data prove it: iPhone sold 1 million units in its first month on the market, and iPad sold more than 1 million units in 28 days. This is just the beginning. IPhone sold more than 10 million units in its second year and iPad sold more than 15 million units in its eight months on the market.

Although Apple Watch lacked important use cases when it launched in 2015, fitness and health tracking and notification capabilities quickly became an important selling point. Despite initial problems such as slow processor response and mediocre application performance, Apple Watch sold more than 10 million yuan in its first year on the market.

But even according to Apple's own plans, the new hybrid reality is very different. Only about 1 million of this product is expected to be produced in the first year. From this point of view, the device will be Apple's worst-selling device in the early days.

  Compared with Apple's existing products, this model also lacks a clear advantage.When Steve Jobs launched the iPad, he claimed that the tablet was better than the Mac or iPhone in terms of surfing the Internet, watching videos and looking at photos. Apple Watch is also better at tracking activity than iPhone.

Apart from watching videos and Facetime, Apple's first generation is unlikely to outperform the iPhone or iPad in any way, and few consumers are willing to pay $3000 (20354 yuan) for it. Such a high price is five times that of the original iPhone-the iPhone was a luxury in the mobile phone world in 2007.

While Apple may sell the Reality Pro to consumers, it should be better positioned as a developer prototype-making it easier for developers to debug software for future devices and wait for cheaper, more practical products to hit the market.

Similar failures are too numerous to list. Existing devices, including Microsoft's HoloLens and Meta's Quest Pro, have not opened up a big enough market. The HoloLens, which starts at $3500, has largely failed. Microsoft's recent price cuts show that this is no longer its focus. The $1500 Quest Pro is in a similar dilemma.

A more worrying figure for the current VR market is that more than half of the $400 Quest, currently the hottest device, is idle six months after it was purchased.

Apple's devices are more sophisticated and advanced than its current head, but it still can't shake off the challenges facing Microsoft and Meta: prices are too high, usage is limited, and most consumers are cautious.

In order to avoid the embarrassment of Reality Pro falling into the awkward situation of "loud thunder, little rain", Apple may need to position it as a preview product for the future world. But it won't be easy. Apple's marketing department is not very good at quietly launching new products, after all, they didn't have to do so before.

In any case, after the release of the new product, it needs to be improved quickly with the help of external developers. If they can create an experience that is much better than iPhone or iPad, it will be a great help. It would be interesting if Apple could reduce the price by $1000 and increase battery life in a short period of time.

If Apple can launch real AR glasses and rival the iPhone in terms of price, functionality and battery life, it may really change the tech industry as groundbreaking technologies have done before.

But for now, Apple's position as a maker of blockbuster products may be in jeopardy.

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Responsible editor: Liu Liangliang

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