Why I Can’t Bet Against Apple’s Vision Pro

Part of what I was reacting to at the time was social norms. At the time, it might have been considered rude to look at the clock during a meeting or family dinner. But ten years later, it no longer seemed inappropriate (at least to me). Because so many people now own an Apple Watch, and many are setting new norms for the Apple Watch.

Now, we can assume that people who check their watches at dinner are probably trying to avoid taking out their phones, which makes it more rude and annoying. In other words, the taboo disappeared with mass adoption.

The same thing can happen with mixed reality headsets. Admittedly, wearing the Vision Pro today might feel self-conscious. But if a few years from now, if a third of his co-workers were using headsets to join his Zoom calls, and some were watching his VR movies every time they boarded a plane, it would be. You may feel that it is not so stupid.

Apple has a knack for entering product categories at the right time. The iPhone wasn’t his first smartphone in 2007, or even his first touchscreen smartphone. The iPad wasn’t the first tablet. But in both cases, the company has brought unprecedented excitement and sex appeal to their products. Apple made other companies make costly mistakes and focused on building great products.

The same thing could happen with Apple and Vision Pro. Companies like Meta and Magic Leap have learned from the failures of early devices such as Google Glass and have poured billions of dollars into basic research and development for virtual and mixed reality headsets. Many of the device’s components have improved, making the actual headset more attractive. However, they haven’t had any major commercial hits.

It may be because virtual or augmented reality is a fundamentally bad idea and the market for these devices is destined to remain small. But maybe the market just needed Apple to show up. Years from now, if you’re reading this with a Vision Pro or an Apple device attached directly to your cornea, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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