Apple’s blended headset project suffered from CEO Tim Cook’s “aloof” attitude, as well as skepticism from other members of the company’s management team. Bloomberg.
The mixed reality headset was a multi-year project costing about $1 billion per year, but development on the project was hampered by Tim Cook’s “relative laissez-faire” policies. This is in stark contrast to the work of his predecessor, founder Steve Jobs, who was known for his obsessive attention to detail and consistently attracted the company’s chief designer, Jony Ive.
Notably, Cook isn’t the only one distancing himself from the project – head of software development Craig Federighi and head of hardware Johnny Srouji have expressed concern about him. The former appeared “vigilant” and kept his distance, while the latter described the development of the headset as a “scientific project”.
Of course, management’s fears will have less of an impact on project success than customer reactions. According to Bloomberg sources, Apple has decided to sell the device at cost rather than at a loss. However, the projected sales volume was reduced from 3 million to 900 thousand devices per year – this happened after the revision of the form factor and practical scope of the headset.
After leaving Apple in 2019, Ive remained involved in the development of the device, leaving the project “about a year ago” and having a confrontation with project lead Mike Rockwell. Ive’s goal was to make the device “as portable as possible,” which reflected Cook’s stance, and Rockwell’s team initially leaned toward a Mac-mini-sized external base station, an option stubbornly avoided by other manufacturers. A fully autonomous device will be able to appear in at least four years – Apple has postponed any large-scale work in this direction for the time being.