Mark Gurman: Apple just poached Meta's PR chief for AR

From Gurman's Power On newsletter, posted Sunday to Bloomberg subscribers:

Apple hires Meta’s augmented reality communications lead ahead of its 2022 headset launch. As I’ve covered extensively, next year is when we’re likely to see Apple’s first major new product category in seven years: a powerful and pricey mixed-reality headset. Ahead of that launch, Apple is starting to get its ducks in a row. I’m told the company has hired Andrea Schubert, Meta Platforms Inc.’s communications and public relations head for its augmented reality efforts. Meta, with Oculus, has been the market leader in headsets, so such a hire makes sense as Apple nears its launch.

My take: 9to5Mac does a good job putting this tidbit in context. See here.

9 Comments

  1. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Wait! I’m extremely confused!

    So Mark Gurman and 9 to 5Mac write a story about poaching a high level Facebook employee who was involved in the release and marketing of “Oculus” in advance of presenting these AR Glasses in all Apple Stores. While ignore the devastating consequences of “51” store employees walking out on Christmas Eve? Won’t these “Mass walkouts” of Apple Store employees obliterate any success and future release of these AR Glasses?

    Where is that story? Why isn’t Apple addressing these bonafide employee grievances before hiring another person to lead a major product release?

    Mark Gurman is going soft and now I’m beginning to question his journalistic integrity with this “puff” piece he wrote.

    1
    December 26, 2021
  2. Bart Yee said:
    Frankly, if this person had anything to do with the recent Facebook VR ad “This is the dimension of imagination” video showing young adults just bobbing their heads in a museum picture, then Meh!, not interested. To me, the ad was lame, but then again, it probably isn’t aimed towards me.

    I’m much more interested in the AR aspects of Apple’s project than any VR applications simply because the addressable AR user market IMO is so much larger than the mostly gamer market that is VR. IMO, would console gamers ever want to spend big money (remember most consoles are sold at break even to loss, meaning heavily discounted at retail) to shift their play to Apple VR goggles? Same for custom gamer PC builders to shift to Mac or compatible Apple interface? IMO for both, no. There would be a lag of months to years for current major AAA games to be ported over to MacOS or Apple ARKit compatible, if any.

    And despite the potential Apple user penchant for spending money on games (at least mobile games), wouldn’t there be potential shame and backlash projected by Epic and others at any crossover developers who profit themselves AND Apple in creating Apple AR compatible games and apps? At least until they see how much money is to be made!!

    1
    December 26, 2021
  3. Bart Yee said:
    From the 9to5Mac article:
    “The latest rumors suggest that the device will be targeted at advanced users as it will feature two 8K displays to show ultra-high resolution images. Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple’s AR/VR headset will be equipped with advanced 3D sensors capable of not only detecting objects in a scene but also identifying gestures made by the user’s hands.

    While he first argued that “Apple Glasses” were expected to heavily rely on iPhone, the analyst now says that the device will have an advanced chip to operate without a phone nearby. Another report from Kuo claims that the headset will weigh about 350 grams.”

    While I think the above likely, I think both an iPhone independent View Max ™ premium priced version and a upper end but lower priced View Pro ™ iPhone dependent model are both in the works. It would have been natural to create the dependent model first to test proof of concept using existing iPhone A-series processing power – remember all those extra Neural pricing cores plus Ultrawideband chips being underutilized? Plus using the advanced 4G LTE / 5G and WiFi6 capability when theoretically powered and tethered to an iPhone 12 and up? IMO, it’s only after proving this version, then earnest development of further low power custom chips, power source, displays, etc. make an independent version possible. Assuming Silicon production availability for reasonable volume production, then Apple would extend their user capable install base with two upper price tier models, an all out experience, and a “more affordable” tethered version.

    Of course, there will be Apple Car specific version, if not a HUD type as well.

    1
    December 26, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      Errata: Neural pricing cores should have been Neural Processing Cores, but hey, AR assisted shopping comparisons could be a thing too.

      1
      December 26, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    Trying to keep an open mind, but way too much speculative info.

    From 9to5Mac: 350 grams. That’s .75 pound. Hard to ‘see’ this as an Apple product. Maybe a developer release, assuming they’re going for immersive VR games and a lighter product in the future.

    As for head of PR, it seems head of dev relations or head of marketing or engineering would matter more.

    Finally, Apple can spend a lot of time and money on commercial grade prototypes, and and iterations before releasing a product.

    1
    December 26, 2021
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Fred: WWDC 2022 is a little over five months away. I look forward to what Apple announces. Until then it’s all open to speculation.

      1
      December 26, 2021
  5. Rodney Avilla said:
    When I assess any article about poaching high management personnel between these mega tech companies, I do so making a fundamental assumption: anyone from these types of positions, that are good at their job, like their present position, and a good team player, can pretty much name their salary and get it. So when they leave, I assume the company doesn’t like them (so refuses to meet their salary request hoping they will leave) or they didn’t like the culture (they leave without negotiating). So then I read the article looking for clues what happened.

    3
    December 26, 2021
  6. Tommo_UK said:
    Ming Chi suggests they’ll be able to operate separately from an iPhone. Better buy shares of Globalstar – I mean, surely this must mean they’re going to feature satellite connectivity – just like the iPhone 13, right?

    1
    December 27, 2021
  7. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Will the masses be taken by the glasses?

    Again, it’s on your face — high soul/image hurdle.

    I’ll extrapolate — if it’s anything, it’ll be a solid niche player — much like AirPods Max. Nothing approaching the now-casual mass appeal of the iPhone.

    It certainly won’t be a mass hit if it LOOKS like a device on your head.

    2
    December 27, 2021

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