Not the iPhone 15 launch, but hype around Apple headset is high! But is it dead on arrival?
- The kind of hype we are seeing around the Apple AR/VR headset launch, would have been what we would expect for iPhone 15 launch.
It is not the iPhone 15 launch, but for all the hype surrounding the Apple AR/VR headset, you would be justified in thinking it was. However, while the Apple fans may be eager to see the biggest new tech rollout since the first Apple Watch was launched, but for the rest of the investing world, and perhaps even for consumers, it appears to be an ordinary event. And that could be ominous. This despite the fact that the headset is an entirely different product category.
The non-reaction from the market may perhaps be because of the cloak of secrecy maintained by Apple over its latest tech, but for all intents and purposes, much of what will be in the headset has been leaked and analysed to death by analysts.
However, success in this venture, if it reaches anywhere near Apple Watch levels, could well send shares skyrocketing.
Artificial intelligence impact
The reason behind the damp squib reactions may well have much to do with the enormous interest artificial intelligence has grabbed. And the Apple headset does not mention AI anywhere (Apple prefers to use the phrase machine learning rather than AI).
And notably, all the moneybags are running after anything that has is even remotely concerned with AI in their names or business.
Bloomberg says that analysts are using words like “modest” and “lackluster” to describe projections for initial sales of the mixed reality headset.
In contrast, Apple Watch became the Apple of everyone's eyes much before the launch and it was lapped up instantly by the analysts and the fans. Three reasons for that:
1. The category was well-defined
2. It offered potential for disruption
3. Opened an opportunity to profit from new category - health care.
The Apple headset, first of all, is nothing like the iPhone 15 or the Apple Watch in global impact potential, and secondly, the reason behind the damp squib reactions for the Apple AR/VR headset may well have much to do with AI.
“The headset isn't dead on arrival, but I don't think it's very exciting for people who aren't gamers,” Ken Mahoney, CEO of Mahoney Asset Management told Bloomberg.
So, what is he eyeing? “Meanwhile, AI is going to transform businesses, and not only does Apple not have a dance partner in AI, it doesn't seem like it is even at the AI dance,” he added.
With OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, even chipmaker Nvidia rushing to reap the rewards from their entry into the world of AI, till date, it seems that Apple has really missed the bus. However, Apple, under Tim Cook has always been extremely careful about where it chooses to go. It has rarely looked for the first-mover advantage, but has gone on to dominate the world with its products to become the most valuable company ever.
Notably, Cook has said said that Apple will add such technology to its products on a “very thoughtful basis.”
Now, all everyone has to do is wait till June 5 rolls around and we get to see the real AR VR headset's potential to disrupt the market.