Apple Chief Tim Cook is betting big on the metaverse. That’s because once the company launches their VR headset in a matter of months, it will represent the introduction of a next-generation hardware product that many inside the company believe might one day rival the iPhone.
Cook’s prowess as the head of the company is unquestioned. Apple’s market size and financial growth during his tenure has been nothing short of spectacular, growing its market capitalization from around $350 billion in 2011 to around $2.4 trillion today. Yet if there’s one asterisk that accompanies Cook’s resume, it’s that the company has yet to develop a next-generation piece of hardware under his command.
Apple released the Apple Watch in 2015 to great acclaim. The following year, the company released AirPods with equal success. Together, these products have helped turned Apple’s accessories division into a $41 billion business.
Meanwhile, Apple’s mixed reality headset, tentatively named Apple Reality, will be the company’s first new platform to have been developed entirely under Cook’s leadership. The iPhone, iPad and even Watch were all originally conceived under Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in 2011.
“They have huge pressure to ship” the headset, said a former Apple engineer who worked on the product’s development. “They have been postponing the launch each year for the past [few] years.”
Indeed, the Apple Reality headset has been in development for more than seven years–twice as long as the iPhone–and Cook is seemingly champing at the bit to release his own signature computing platform. The good news is that consumers don’t have much longer to wait. Apple will reportedly officially announce the headset as early as June.