Apple might need to play catch-up in the coming year with Oculus, Samsung, and Sony already promoting their own brand of virtual reality (VR) headsets and technologies.
Virtual reality is the next big thing, and we’ll see a ton of it at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for sure, but one analyst has already jumped in with his predictions about Cupertino’s chances for another hit product in the VR space.
Since Apple has already experimented with virtual reality headsets before settling on an Apple Watch, and it’s acquired augmented reality company Metaio last May, it’s also possible the world’s largest tech company will jump into the VR space before too long.
Daniel Ives of FBR & Co says that, in his opinion, Apple will be “very aggressive on the virtual/ augmented reality front through organic as well as acquisitive means in 2016.”
According to Ives, this move will represent a natural extension of the iPhone ecosystem already in place.
Drones and wearables like the Apple Watch are big right now, too, but Ives believes that VR is on the cusp of becoming a hot new consumer product.
“After years of development,” said Ives, “the tech world will be getting its first glimpse of the highly anticipated virtual reality systems set to hit the consumer market in 2016 with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all prepping to release their VR systems…”
Apple tends to jump into product cycles well past the “cutting edge” stage these days, preferring to wait until their own take on a hot new product category–like the Apple TV and Apple Watch–can be given the traditional Apple polish and design. It’s doubtful that Apple will rush a sub-par VR experience to market, no matter how many Samsung Gear goggles or Google cardboard units are out in the wild. Of course, we can’t count out Microsoft with it’s own unique focus on augmented reality and Hololens. The landscape is shifting, so it’s probably a good bet that Apple will get into the VR scene soon enough.