Reality Pros are set to become the first flop of modern Apple. With the launch of Reality Pro, the glasses for virtual and augmented reality, Apple is betting big and risking its reputation as an infallible company in choosing the products it puts on the market; in practice they could be the first high-profile failure of modern Apple, the one since Jobs’ return to today. This is the gist of an article published today by Bloomberg and signed by Mark Gurman, a journalist who has the ability and the right connections to see behind Cupertino’s moves.
After having already gone into detail last week on the functioning of this accessory, Gurman launches into a scarcely reassuring forecast that is made clear from the beginning: «there is a very concrete possibility that at the launch Reality Pro, although loaded with technologies that will make them a marvel from the point of view of innovation, turn into a real flop». The reasons? Multiple and pitted one by one with references to the past and the present and which at first sight are logically unbreakable.
We start from intrinsic problems, the autonomy of only two hours, the uncertain functioning in full light, the scarce availability of contents and the uncomfortable design, to more general issues. Firstly, Apple still has no idea what their real function might be, the killer application for which glasses should become something to buy. Currently Cupertino “hopes that immersive video, integration with other Apple products and FaceTime calls will entice consumers but I am skeptical – says Gurman – that this will be enough”.
Indeed, with Reality Pro Apple dives into almost uncharted waters. Not so with iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that already had a clear function and predecessors that had already won the interest of masses of customers. There it was just about creating something better to beat the competition. The result was that Apple sold one million iPhones in a few months and ten in the second year, fifteen million iPads in eight months and ten million Apple Watches in one year. Apple now estimates it will sell less than a million Reality Pros in its first year. Which would make the Reality Pro a product that according to Apple’s metrics is little more than a dot on the radar.
Each of the previous products, Gurman considers, had points of advantage over other products that people knew: the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone experience, the iPad was better than an iPhone and a Mac in navigation, video and in the photos, the Apple Watch superior to the iPhone as an activity tracker. Reality Pros, on the other hand, will perhaps be better than the iPhone only in video viewing and FaceTime: «I doubt that this is enough to push people to spend $3,000 on them, six times the price of the iPhone at launch, a price that someone at the time already thought it was exaggerated ».
The market sends alarming signals in this regard: Microsoft’s HoloLens are far from a mainstream product so much so that version three may never see the light of day and Meta’s QuestPros have had a cold reception both in the $3500 and in the more expensive versions. economic. More than half of the $400 version of Quests go unused 6 months after purchase, and visitors show disinterest in Horizon Word shortly after signing up. Reality Pros will face the same struggles affecting Microsoft and Meta products: high price and dubious utility.
«Apple to avoid a failure of gigantic proportions – concludes Gurman – will have to travel a very narrow path. Present the low-profile Reality Pros, as a developer preview of something yet to come, soon reduce the price and accelerate on hardware development by increasing autonomy and content with the help of partners. But Apple has never followed such a path, in particular it has never had a low profile about its products because it never had a need to. For this reason, at least at the moment, Apple’s reputation as an infallible machine capable of churning out one success after another is in the balance»