According to the calendar on the wall (disclosure: the Macalope gave up wall calendars when Mulder and Scully went off the air), we are entering prime rumor season again as the holidays have passed, Apple is making plans for 2023 and lips they are a-flappin’. What’s the hullaballoo this year? Hope you like strapping things to your face.
Yes, everyone is talking about the upcoming Apple AR headset, which will definitely be the thing Apple features for its out-of-touch holiday gift-giving guide 11 months from now. “This year, get your loved ones a device that costs several thousand dollars.” Only the car companies have a more inflated sense of how much the Macalope is willing to spend on his loved ones.
If you look at the current rumors about the headset, you might wonder why you’d want one at all. An external display that shows your facial expressions? A battery pack you wear on your belt? It’s true the Macalope doesn’t keep up on the latest fashion trends (he’s been wearing the same suit for 10 years) but that doesn’t sound particularly Apple-y. Surely this is yet another dud of an Apple product just like the Watch.
That’s just the thing, though. Lackluster rumors of an upcoming Apple product are not at all unusual. Sixteen years ago in the run-up to the announcement of the iPhone, people were asking what Apple could possibly bring to the world of smartphones. “The BlackBerry Pearl is the pinnacle of smartphone design!” they shouted. “This is a Wendy’s!” we shouted back.
Heck, even after Apple products are announced we were told they’re not that great, have less space than a Nomad, and besides, some third-rate player you’ve never heard of already has turbo lasers.
Who knows, maybe the unannounced $3,000 belt-pack-powered Apple headset will be really cool. It doesn’t seem cool yet, but neither did so many other Apple products before we had them. This is not to say, though, that it not looking all that inspirational before its release means it’s going to be a hit, either. As the Macalope’s financial advisor always tells him, past success is not an indicator of future performance.
Then the Macalope looks at his portfolio and says “What past success?” and he and his financial advisor have a good laugh.
This week’s rumors are about when we might see it. Mark Gurman says Apple will announce the product at a spring event, before WWDC, and then ship it later in the fall, giving us enough time to scrounge through our couches for $3,000. Again, the pricing rumor may be wrong, too, though. Apple is pretty famous for not being shy about pricing things with an eye toward profit rather than volume and–just taking a quick look at their cash reserve here and, yup–it seems to work out pretty well for the company. Still, in the lead-up to its launch, the iPad was widely rumored to cost $1,000 and it ended up starting at half that.
Not that $1,500 is throwing around money for this mythical beast, either.
John Gruber asks a good question which is if it’s not for games, which The Information implies, what’s it for? No one wants to spend this much for the rumored features: videoconferencing, mapping, and educational content. Not to put too fine a point on it, but have you looked around at the world? Does it look like the kind of place that results from a populace that drops three grand on educational devices? Sadly, it does not.
The Macalope certainly hopes it’s good because (also according to Gurman) the company is putting other devices on the back burner for it.
…Apple roped in resources from several hardware and software engineering departments. That’s hampered other projects, some of which were already suffering from their own delays and budget cuts stemming from the economic slowdown.
Hope you weren’t looking for exciting AirPods, Watches or iPad updates this year.
Certainly, Apple knows its business better than a cartoon human/computer hybrid in a suit or, really, almost any other pundit as well. It only seems confusing because we’re on the outside looking in.