Apple CEO Tim Cook will push forward with the launch of Apple's mixed reality headset this year, but the decision has caused a major rift inside the company.
According to a Financial Times report, the Apple operations team led by COO Jeff Williams wants to ship the AR/VR headset as soon as possible, with its launch predicted to be at Apple’s WWDC conference in June.
However, members of the design team want to hold back the release until the company can finally offer lightweight AR glasses - one of Apple’s long-term goals.
Cook has backed the operations team and the chances of getting an AR/VR headset from Apple this year are now highly likely.
As per the report, even if Apple’s first-generation AR/VR headset comes at a steep price point and limited appeal, Cook and Williams believe it makes sense to release the AR/VR headset early. Taking into account the current state of the market, their idea is to iterate and improve the product after its release.
This internal debate highlights a crucial strategic decision many VR/AR companies face: going to market early with a premium or waiting until all the envisioned features are fully realized.
Apple originally planned to release its AR/VR headset in 2021 and have it shipped by 2022 but has pushed back plans to a year later due to unforeseen delays.
Last January, the tech giant wasin talks with Walt Disney Co and several other media partners to produce content for its upcoming headset.
The headset, rumored to be named Apple Reality Pro, is believed to be priced at around $3,000. Apple is expecting to sell an estimated one million units in its first year.