March 13, 2023, 09:00 – Updated on March 13, 2023, 13:29
Apple has been looking for a big break for the last few years, and for Tim Cook the thing is clear: the business is going to grow. Before, indeed, the firm will launch its first mixed glass product – they are expected to appear at WWDC in June -, and the discussion about meeting expectations is quite different.
Seven years of progress. As reported in the Financial Times, Apple has been working on this project for a long time. In fact, it took twice as long to launch the iPhone. The first products fully developed under the leadership of Cook, like the previous ones – the iPhone, the iPad and even the Apple Watch – were launched with the full or partial involvement of Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.
Internal debate. The Apple operations team wanted to release a narrower version as soon as possible. A device in the shape of ski goggles that allowed you to watch videos in an immersive way or exercise or chat with realistic avatars via FaceTime.
It is still better to wait. But industrial pain and batteries are not in a hurry to launch and patiently accept. According to them, it would be better to wait until light augmented reality glasses were feasible, something that could still take years and whose complexity caused many delays.
But the developers of the land. Caution did not win that debate, and according to two people close to the situation, Tim Cook preferred to part with the operations division, which was led by Jeff Williams. Until not long ago, it was conceivable to go against the company’s policy – Jony Ive also ordered a lot – but things have changed in a company where business performance is now more important than part of the industrial plan.
They don’t sell a lot of cups. Apple is hoping not to sell too much of this first model of mixed glass. In fact, the estimated figure is close to one million units in the first 12 months of availability. One of the reasons will be the high price, which is expected to be around $3,000.
But that’s a lot of fun. As you remember in the FT, the first generations of Apple’s disruptive products were actually slow to get good. A Morgan Stanley analyst actually noted how “markets historically underestimated the long-term impact of Apple’s new product/service launches.”
Doubts. It certainly happened with iPods and iPhones, and also (albeit to a lesser extent) with Apple watches: it took two or three generations of products for those devices to become really big successes. The question, of course, is whether history will repeat itself and these spectacles will succeed. They probably won’t, but perhaps future iterations, including Apple’s ambitiously enhanced glasses, will be desirable. Tim Cook seems to be open about what will be his successor in the Cupertino company.
Image: Marcus Kane
In Xataka | Metaverse, a concept that Zuckerberg doesn’t stop talking about: what it is and why Facebook, Nvidia, Microsoft and others are fighting for it.