2016 could be the year Apple goes crazy for VR

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VR may be happening soon, and Apple might want to jump in.
VR may be happening soon, and Apple might want to jump in.
Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/Wikipedia CC

Apple might need to play catch-up on virtual reality in the coming year. Oculus, Samsung and Sony are already promoting their own brand of VR headsets and technologies.

Virtual reality is the next big thing. As such, we undoubtedly will see a ton of it at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. But one analyst already jumped in with his predictions about Cupertino’s chances for another hit product in the VR space.

Since Apple already experimented with virtual reality headsets before settling on an Apple Watch, and Cupertino 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.

Apple and VR

Drones and wearables like the Apple Watch are big right now, too. However, Ives thinks 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.”

These days, Apple tends to jump into product cycles well past the “cutting edge” stage. The company prefers to wait until its own take on a hot new product category — like Apple TV and Apple Watch — can be given the traditional Apple polish and design. It’s doubtful Apple will rush a subpar 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 its own unique focus on augmented reality and HoloLens.

As the landscape shifts, it remains a good bet that Apple will get into the VR scene soon enough.

Source: Barron’s