Apple reportedly to debut new line of VR headsets

Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley details reports that Apple will feature a new line of VR and AR headset devices.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Apple looking set to expand in its first major new category since the Apple Watch in 2015. And according to a report from Bloomberg, a both augmented and virtual reality headset could be even more ambitious than you had imagined. Yahoo Finance tech reporter Dan Howley is here to give us the latest on that device. And Dan, what do we know?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this seems to be a new development in how we’re expecting the new headset to come out. Really, this is going to be, as you said, one of the biggest products that’s Apple’s launch since the Apple Watch. And according to this report, there’s going to be multiple levels to it that help differentiate it from offerings from the likes of Meta. Chief among them, there’s not going to be any controllers involved.

Instead, it’s going to rely on cameras on the inside and outside of the headset that can see what you’re looking at. And then when it recognizes that, sees what your fingers are doing and allows you to access things like buttons in apps to really interact with things, that’s rather than using a controller where you would move around a mouse pad esque kind of device and then use buttons to physically click on an item.

So this is a big change than from what we’re seeing in other areas. Microsoft’s HoloLens had a similar idea where you would look at something and then move your hand to kind of try to grab it, though it was pretty spotty at times, at least when I used it in some testing. So it’s hard to tell how accurate this would be. But if Apple’s going to be going to market with this generally for $3,000, then you’ve got to imagine that it’s going to be pretty up to snuff when it comes to the capability there.

And then they’re also reportedly working on a less expensive version around $1,500. That’s around where Meta’s top of the line headset starts right now. And really, this comes down to whether Apple is going to go full force into this or not. They’ve done years of research on this topic. And so there are times where they’ve thought about coming out with something and then didn’t. But at this point, it seems as though this is definitely on schedule for this year at some point to be released to the public.

DAVE BRIGGS: Dan, Apple also facing some competition over in the payment space, as big banks, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, team up to create their own virtual wallet. What can you tell us?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is going to be something that you would use online. And it really is a way to compete with the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal. Apple Pay has kind of exploded in recent years. It was– it’s a slow burn, though. It started off initially very slow with few people really jumping into it. And now a majority of iPhone users seem to use Apple Pay to some degree. I, frankly, use it every time I go to the store, anytime I check out from Grubhub. Any time I go and get on the train, I use it. So it’s something that’s become a part of my everyday life. And I think a lot of other people can say that as well.

The fear here, though, is that Apple is getting too powerful in the space. They do make money off of fees through each transaction, though the amount is minuscule, compared to what they make on things like iPhone sales. But these banks, obviously, don’t like Apple jumping into their territory. Don’t forget Apple also has a credit card with Goldman Sachs. And they’re working on a buy now, pay later program. So, you know, obviously, they see Apple as a threat and want to kind of cut that off.

Whether or not people are going to be interested in doing that, though, that’s really the big question. Apple Pay is so popular because it’s so easy to use. You just double tap your power button and/or the side button on your phone, and it’ll pull up your credit card and allow you to pay with either face ID or touch ID. So this is going to be up in the air for how successful this platform is.

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