Apple is set to launch its first metaverse product this year, after spending years getting ready to follow Mark Zuckerberg into the metaverse.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is planning to make a significant impact on the company’s future by not only unveiling the highly anticipated “mixed reality” headset later this year, but also by launching a next-generation hardware product that has the potential to rival the iconic iPhone.
Some sources within the company believe this new product could be a game-changer and secure Cook’s legacy as a transformative leader in tech. With these ambitious plans, Cook is determined to cement Apple’s position as a pioneering force in the world of technology.
Apple spent seven years on its headset’s development, twice as long as it spent developing the iPhone. The hardware is widely expected to feature both virtual and augmented reality and drop as soon as June.
According to the Financial Times, a former Apple engineer has claimed there is “huge pressure” on Apple to finally release its Reality Pro headset, after experiencing years of delays in development.
“They have huge pressure to ship (the headset), they have been postponing the launch each year for the past [few] years,” a former engineer told the Financial Times.
The “timing of the launch has been a cause of tension since the project’s inception in early 2016” according to the people familiar with Apple’s internal discussion.
Insider conflict the cause of delay?
According to the outlet, divisions within the project became apparent right after its kick-off in 2016. The team in charge of the operation wanted to introduce an initial version of the headset, “which would resemble ski goggles and allow users to watch immersive 3D videos, engage in interactive workouts, or have conversations with realistic avatars using an updated version of FaceTime.”
However, the design team could not agree because its aim was for Apple to wait until the technology was mature enough to release a pair of augmented reality glasses. The saga ended with the takeover by CEO Cook, who sided with Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and the operations team.
A few years ago, Apple’s design team, led by Jony Ive, wielded immense power, making it unfathomable to defy their decisions. However, the team’s structure has undergone a reorganization since Ive’s departure in 2019. Consequently, design now falls under the leadership of Williams, as detailed by the outlet.
Apple delaying some bonuses and freezing hiring
The first trillion-dollar company is delaying bonuses and expanding a cost-cutting effort, joining Silicon Valley peers in trying to streamline operations during uncertain times, according to Bloomberg who cited people with knowledge of the situation.
Apple is planning to decrease the frequency of bonuses for some of its corporate employees. The plan has not been announced publicly yet. Additionally, the company is implementing hiring limitations for certain positions and will not immediately fill vacancies left by departing employees.
Previously, Apple used to distribute bonuses and promotions to its employees once or twice a year depending on the division, with the teams receiving them in April and October.
However, with the new plan, the group that received bonuses twice a year will not be receiving them next month, and all divisions will switch to an annual schedule, with bonuses and promotions only being paid out in October, according to Bloomberg.