As you might expect, the internet is already saying Apple’s headphones are doomed, it seems

Apple’s AR headset hasn’t been announced yet, and there are already those insisting it’s a dead flop upon arrival, just like they’ve said with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even the Mac.

Tim Cook hoping the headset works

We have been dealing with this cycle for decades. Apple releases something, people complain about the price or some other factor that only interests them, and calls the Apple product a failure.

Even when Apple didn’t have the financial stocks it has now, the company has the patience to wait.

Ultimately, we don’t know on the Friday before WWDC if the headset is compelling. The purported $3,000 price point is high and will be the main talking point, if it’s accurate. As a reminder, however, the original iPad was expected to retail for $999, and in the real world it retailed for $499.

Also, the assumption is that we’ll know everything after Tim Cook leaves the stage at the end of his WWDC 2023 keynote speech. In truth, we won’t really know if it’s good or bad in actual use until much later.

We expect Apple to do the same thing with headphones as it did with early Intel Macs and Apple Silicon transition kits. The developer kits will likely be first shortly after WWDC, followed by a holiday release to the general public, assuming Apple can do enough.

We’ll get an idea from whatever the developers tell us about their experiences working with it, of course.

True success will take time, and Apple has all the time money can buy. It will iterate the design and shift the focus as needed on who is aiming the product at.

Put a pin in it

Maybe the headset will fail. Maybe it will be the hockey puck mouse again.

But just in case it’s anything but a long-term disaster, read a selection of the complaints and criticisms about Apple’s headset, before it’s even been confirmed.

“An augmented reality headset locked into the Apple ecosystem for $3000? Please be serious,” Tessa Kaur wrote in Player. “I hate it… an AR headset is facing the wrong way.”

“For a staggering $3,000, early adopters of an Apple VR/AR ecosystem will be able to do pretty much what their phone does,” Kaur continues, “except they’ll have to wear a bulky headset and fiddle with imaginary objects with my hands. It’s the dumbest thing I can imagine.”

Remember that the $3,000 price tag is just a rumor, albeit a repeatedly backed one. During discussions on Reddit, most of the pre-release complaints focus on that price.

“Why pay $3000 for Apple product when I can buy a Quest 2 for $300?” she wrote “potatochipsbagelpie”.

“I just can’t imagine what it will offer anyone that none of the cheapest and most accessible VR headsets already offer,” wrote a user who for some reason wants to be known as “myyummyass” on Reddit. “Why buy it for what will inevitably be over 1k when you can get a PS5 and PSVR2 at that price with far more utility?”

“[It’s] pretty much just the iPhone that really blew anyone away, especially when it comes to software development platforms,” wrote user FollowingFeisty5321, “every other platform they launched for developers vanished: Watch, Mac App Store, iPad OS, Apple TV”.

A certain sense prevails

Still, most people on Reddit seem to be happy waiting to find out what Apple actually announces, and many think it will be better than anything from corporate rivals. Although that may not say much.

“I mean the bar is pretty low compared to what we currently have,” wrote Reddit user CeeKay125. “I wonder what killer app they’re going to promote? Without a killer app, you don’t see this doing numbers, even if it’s an Apple product.”

That’s a good point. The Apple Watch probably faltered at first, with marketing initially positioning it first as a fashion item and then as a fitness item. It then took off when Apple found its niche promoting it as a health aid.

Time and apps will tell

Everyone will be eyeing Apple’s headphones at WWDC, but admittedly they’ll be really looking for its killer app.

No one knows and no one can yet know if the Apple headset will have another hit until it’s at least announced. Even then, there’s a long way to go from the WWDC keynote to a mature device, just as there was between the iPhone’s announcement and its shipment.

Don’t expect anyone to refrain from calling a new Apple device doomed.

“There’s no chance the iPhone will get significant market share,” then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in 2007. “No chance.”

Monday’s WWDC is just the opening words of the first chapter of Apple’s book on the subject, which was prefaced four years ago with ARKit.

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