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Apple’s Reality Pro headset just got demoed in a secret ceremony

Apple’s mysterious Reality Pro headset just hit a major milestone last week when it was demonstrated in a large-scale ceremony to around 100 of the company’s top executives. That’s encouraging, as showing it off to so many high-ranking employees suggests the device is almost ready for launch.

The revelation comes from Mark Gurman’s weekly Power On newsletter, wherein the Bloomberg journalist explained that the event marks a notable turning point in the mixed-reality headset’s development ahead of its anticipated launch at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

A rendering of four Apple mixed-reality headsets (Reality Pro) in various colors sitting on a surface.
Ahmed Chenni,

It’s not the first time the Reality Pro has been demonstrated to Apple’s top brass — that has been going on ever since 2018, according to Gurman. The difference here, though, is the sheer scale of the presentation.

Previously, the annual demos were discreet and low-key. Last week’s event, though, was held in Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater, the same auditorium the company uses for its product reveal extravaganzas. Gurman describes the show as “polished, glitzy and exciting” and an opportunity for the headset team to “rally leaders around” the device.

Following the Apple Watch’s lead

A rendering of an Apple mixed-reality headset (Reality Pro) in a gold color seen from the front.
Apple headset render. Ahmed Chenni,

Despite the showy presentation, Gurman says many Apple execs are “clear-eyed about Apple’s challenges pushing into this new market.” There have already been many skeptical reports about the device, with claims that it could be an expensive flop and that many Apple staff are worried about its future.

Gurman’s report states many Apple executives are “striking a realistic tone” with the Reality Pro and are acknowledging that it won’t be an instant hit. With an expected price tag of $3,000, it’s unlikely to sell in huge quantities right away, and Apple is allegedly targeting sales of one million units in its first year. That’s far below products like the iPhone 14, but it’s worth noting that many of Apple’s products, including the original iPhone and the first iPod, saw initially modest sales improve over time.

Speaking of the Apple Watch, Apple is apparently hoping the Reality Pro will follow a similar trajectory to that charted by its market-leading smartwatch. That device got off to a slow start but gradually found its footing and evolved into one of the company’s most important products.

With WWDC rapidly approaching, Apple’s headset team will soon be able to show the world what it’s been working on. Whether the Reality Pro is fast out of the blocks or suffers a sluggish start will soon become clear.

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