Apple may be nearing launch of its long-awaited XR headsets, as the company has reportedly hired Meta’s head of communications for its consumer XR products.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports in his weekly ‘Power On’ newsletter that Apple has hired Andrea Schubert, Communications Director at Meta’s consumer hardware division for XR, including Portal, AR and VR devices.
Schubert has yet to comment on the report or change her employment status on LinkedIn. We’ve reached out and will update this piece when/if we receive reply.
Schubert joined Meta (then Facebook) in March 2016 for the launch of the company’s first consumer VR headset, Oculus Rift. Over the years Schubert has overseen public relations for the company spanning VR devices including Oculus Rift S, Oculus Go, Quest, and Quest 2. She’s also handled comms for all of Meta’s biggest XR events, including CES, Connect, F8, Sundance, and GDC.
Hiring Schubert, arguably the most connected and experienced XR comms director in the field, could signal that Apple is setting up the last bits of infrastructure ahead of an XR product launch.
At this point it’s fairly clear Apple is preparing its own immersive headsets. Reports have suggested in the past that an Apple VR headset with limited AR capabilities will arrive sometime in 2022, priced at around $3,000 and sporting dual 8K displays. There’s also been talk of Apple ordering high-PPI microdisplays, suggesting the headset will have a less bulky form factor than ones that use conventional VR displays, such as Quest 2.
Apple’s alleged VR headset is said to come as a precursor to a full-fledged AR device. It’s an open secret that the company has been working on AR optics, and releasing AR headset codenames, display dimensions, and fields of view in successive versions of iOS.
In typical Apple fashion the company still hasn’t acknowledged any such claims or supposed information leaks though. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on Apple’s event website in 2022 for what may be the big ‘one more thing’ moment we’ve all been waiting for.