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Samsung might be pressuring Apple to rush its VR headset to market

Virtual Reality
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Last updated: March 13th, 2023 at 18:02 UTC+01:00

Tim Cook (Apple CEO) and Jeff Williams (Apple COO) are reportedly trying to bring the Apple Reality Pro mixed-reality headset to market much earlier than their engineers want. Rushing a product is not the usual Apple way, but Samsung may have pressured the US-based company into revising its longer-term plans for the VR/AR market.

The Financial Times (via PhoneArena) reveals that Apple’s industrial design team wants to release the so-called Reality Pro mixed-reality headset after Apple launches the “Glasses.” The latter is a pair of AR (augmented reality) spectacles supposedly poised to hit the market in 2025-2026.

Unlike the Apple Glasses, the Reality Pro is more of a traditional VR headset with video passthrough capabilities for AR. It’s been in development for years, but according to new reports, Apple’s engineers don’t feel like the Reality Pro mixed-reality headset is ready for commercialization. Apple’s leadership, however, feels differently.

Samsung might be putting pressure on Apple

Despite Apple engineers wanting to release the Reality Pro headset after the Glasses in 2025-2026, sources say they are under “huge pressure to ship.” The Reality Pro VR device might be unveiled at the next Apple conference and go on sale this year for around $3,000. It may feature 12 cameras and two 4K micro-LED displays — one for each eye.

As to why Apple is in a rush to release the Reality Pro, nobody knows with certainty. But it could have something to do with Meta pushing harder into the mixed-reality space with its Quest Pro headset. And, perhaps more importantly, Samsung announced earlier this year that it is working on a new Extended Reality headset in partnership with Qualcomm and Google.

Samsung’s so-called Galaxy Glasses are stand-alone thanks to an internal battery and are supposedly designed to offer a similar experience to the Meta Quest Pro. They have internal screens and video passthrough for mixed-reality applications. Samsung may release its XR solution this year, but nothing has been set in stone yet. But more and more signs are pointing at an upcoming epic battle between Samsung and Apple on the mixed-reality front later this year.

Virtual Reality AppleARSamsung ElectronicsVR
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