Apple Reality Pro headset could be last hope for VR

The hotly anticipated Apple Reality Pro AR/VR headset could be the last big chance for VR to take off, according to one prominent analyst.

Ming Chi-Kuo, the king of Apple tips, has issued a new blog post outlining his view on the forthcoming Apple Reality Pro launch, which should take place at WWDC 2023 on June 5. It’s fair to say that it’s not massively positive.

As a facts and figures guy, Kuo takes the angle of looking at shipments of other recent AR/VR headset releases. They haven’t been good, to say the least.

Sony has cut its production plans for the PlayStation VR 2 by around 20%, despite almost universal praise for the system and the ongoing popularity of the base PS5 console. We gave the system 4 out of 5 in our review, praising its stunning 4K OLED screen, vastly improved Sense controllers, and streamlined set-up.

Meta’s Quest Pro, meanwhile, has only shipped around 300,000 to the Quest 2’s 20 million.

If you’re thinking this is maybe an issue with depressed Western markets, Kuo points out that Pico – China’s biggest AR/VR headset brand – sold 40% fewer devices last year than it expected.

The conclusion, if it needed to be spelled out, is that there is no evidence that AR/VR is set to be the next big thing. There simply isn’t much demand for it.

As such, Apple’s belated entry to the AR/VR headset market is less a case of the company jumping on the bandwagon, and more a case of the last great hope for augmented and virtual reality as a mainstream proposition. No pressure, Apple.

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