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“Apple will only sell 100,000 of their headsets in the first year” Really?

BGR reports a TrendForce estimate that Apple will sell 100k units of their new headset when released and says “but that’s still a big win”.

I disagree on the figure.

I’ve no idea how the 100k estimate was arrived at, but I think this would dramatically underestimate the genuine “fan boy” curiosity. Not to mention developer interest.

If the device is anywhere near decent – better than the Meta Quest… then I think it’s a foregone conclusion. Lots and lots of people will buy one.

If you remember your basic economics, there is an inelastic demand curve for Apple goods from a large segment of their customer base. Just look at the dutiful Apple fans who spend upwards of 1200 pounds, dollars, euros every single year buying the latest top end iPhone.

Yes the device is rumored to be $3,000.

No biggie.

Not if it’s pretty good on stage.

If it looks good. If it’s got some funky features. If there’s some degree of app support. If it pushes one or some envelopes…. Yeah. Lots of people will stretch for it.

If you’ve been looking for a super case for Buy Now Pay Later to really engage the mid-and top end earners, this could be a good case for it.

I think sales volume will very much depend on whether it’s something you are seen with “out of the home”.

Witness for example the original AirPods. I was really, really suspect when it came to those. Will people actually wear them? Bright white. Hanging off your earlobes. Really?

Yeah. Turns out people like being seen in them. Oh and they worked well. They were functional too.

So if you sit and think about all of the App Store developers who have made a lot of money in the gold rush of various different iterations starting with the iPhone and beyond, do you really think all them will sit and wait, when faced with the launch of ‘the next big thing’?

Will they all sit on their hands, downloaded the xrOS (or whatever it will be called) on to their MacBooks and just… you know… play around.

Will they be quite happy for their friend – the guy they sort of know in the other office over the road – to have a “Reality” device whilst they just… patiently… wait?

I think many of us still remember the Apple Newton. I did actually quite like it. But it wasn’t what you’d term prime time.

Back in 2007 when Jobs did the famous reveal, I knew iPhone was going to be big. I knew the world changed that day. Go and see. I wrote a post after the keynote right here on SMS Text News (as the blog was originally called – the post is still in the archive – The Apple iPhone changes everything).

It was the prospect of the app store – not confirmed at all during that 2007 keynote – the prospect of being able to ‘install’ third party apps that really sold it for me.

But I digress.

If the presented device features are good enough, I will buy one. 1k. 2k. 3k. 5k. Well maybe I’d balk at 5k. For a few minutes. I’d probably “BNPL it” to make it feel cheaper.

I do want to know what Apple is doing. I will want to experience it for myself. I will want to be able to talk about it, to have an opinion.

That’s if there are some good features. I’m sure, despite all the various rumours of tensions and ‘issues’, I can’t quite believe that Apple would ship a dud – something like a Quest 2 with bells on.

Last year AppleInsider reported that Apple has 34 million developers. Across all its different devices and operating systems. But this must be predominantly App Store / iOS. And incidentally I’m one of those.

Are you telling me that…. say… let’s go for 10%… 3.4 million people won’t want to ‘get on the next big thing?’ And to do that, you really need a device.

Let’s go for 1% – 340,000. We’re not talking about customers, I’m talking about 1% of the 34 million existing app store developers… it is a total no brainer for them, right? And what’s more, many of these developers have made millions – MILLIONS – from their work. So they can easily afford the 3,000 USD.

Yeah I think that 100,000 number is massively underestimated… IF:

  • The device looks good enough
  • It’s got one or two killer features (e.g. watch your Apple TV movies on a ‘giant’ screen)
  • It supports some interesting app capabilities

Of course, if Tim Cook says “look, this isn’t quite ready for everyone yet – and obviously the price tag doesn’t work for many” and “please view this as version 0.5 for developers only” then fair enough. Fair enough.

I for one will be incredibly curious and my ‘buy now’ trigger finger will be at the ready…

Bring on June 5th.

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