The former is more entertaining laced with a tinge of terror and trepidation. The latter has a whole subculture of headlines that range from the Apple Is Doomed meme to iPhone 7 being Apple’s start into the virtual reality business.
Forget the fact that virtual reality hasn’t made a substantial nickel or a dime for anyone, and Apple, as always, is late to the party that just started (fashionably late, of course). The gloom and doom attitude is the result of cheap Chinese smartphone knockoffs that every tech writer who gets paid for writing says will flood the country and put Samsung and Apple out of business.
Virtual reality? Bah. Humbug. Jason Perlow thinks Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 won’t just be another expensive smartphone but could be part of an integrated system of virtual reality.
It’s all theory and conjecture, of course, but virtual reality requires a tremendous amount of graphics horsepower. Who has more of that in a smartphone than anyone? Apple. From the Metal layer to enhance graphics to the A-Series ARM-based CPUs, Apple has plenty of pieces that could resemble the tip of a VR iceberg.
But I don’t think so.
Why not? Because virtual reality hasn’t proved itself to be a product capable of enticing the masses to use such devices, and hasn’t proven to be a moneymaker for anyone. Plenty of digital ink says virtual reality is the next great thing, but let’s do some math. Take all the Nintendos sold last year, combine them with Sony’s PlayStations, add them to Microsoft’s Xbox and Apple’s vanilla iPhones outsold them all. Google is so excited about virtual reality headsets that it made a cardboard version that would strap onto an Android phone and do much of what the $1,500 VR headsets can do.
When it comes to new technology and new markets, Apple does one of two things. Iterate. Then revolutionize. Every Apple product benefits from iterative improvements and innovations. New products tend to revolutionize markets, but Apple seldom becomes the first mover and certainly shows no signs of becoming the birth place of mass market virtual reality machines or systems.
Perlow thinks Apple is putting the pieces together by removing the iPhone’s headphone jack, adding stereo speakers, upping the graphics capability of the CPU, and assembling the product ecosystem to lead the VR industry in the direction it needs to go.
There’s no money in VR and Apple is all about money. Assembling various ecosystem parts that integrate well together hasn’t done anything to save Apple TV. Worse, virtual reality headsets suffer from the same problem as Google’s Borg-like Glass glasses. Who wants to wear something that stupid looking?
Virtual reality systems? Bah, humbug.