The recent announcement of Apple’s Vision Pro headset has generated significant interest in the virtual reality (VR) market. As experts speculate on the device’s potential performance and its impact on the industry, Asian suppliers, including Sony and other key players, stand to gain new sales opportunities. In this article, we delve into the implications of Apple’s Vision Pro headset on the Asian supply chain and the overall state of the VR market.
The Role of Asian Suppliers
According to a report by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Apple’s Vision Pro headset might incorporate OLED microdisplays from Sony and precision lenses made of polymer optical resins from Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. Additionally, TSMC, the world’s leading chip foundry, is expected to supply chips for the device. This collaboration between Apple and Asian suppliers highlights the significance of their technological prowess and manufacturing capabilities.
Despite these reports, Sony and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical have chosen not to comment on their specific relationships with Apple’s supply chain. However, it is worth noting that Apple has previously acknowledged its reliance on Japanese suppliers, such as Sony, Murata Manufacturing, Kyocera, and Nidec. The company disclosed that it has invested over $100 billion in its Japanese supply chain since 2018, emphasizing the importance of these partnerships.
Challenges in the VR Market
While the potential collaboration between Apple and Asian suppliers is promising, the overall market for VR devices remains relatively small. DSCC, a reputable U.S. research firm, reported that sales of VR displays and related components are projected to grow by only 18 percent this year, reaching 16 million units. In comparison, global smartphone shipments are anticipated to exceed 1 billion units in the same period.
Moreover, the VR industry has experienced disappointing sales in recent years. The DSCC expects the initial sales of Apple’s Vision Pro headset to be modest. Analysts emphasize that the limited adoption of VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies, primarily focused on gaming and certain commercial design applications, has hindered the market’s expansion. A high-ranking executive at a leading Japanese electronics component manufacturer stated, “The success of a product in this domain relies not just on hardware but also on software. However, a product’s market potential cannot be determined until it is launched.”
The Role of Content in Driving VR Demand
Industry experts agree that compelling content will be pivotal in stimulating demand for VR hardware. Currently, VR and AR technologies are predominantly associated with gaming and limited commercial design applications. To realize the full potential of VR, a diverse range of captivating content across various industries needs to be developed. This expansion into different sectors will drive interest from a broader consumer base and increase the overall demand for VR devices.
Apple’s Vision Pro headset has the potential to create new opportunities for Asian suppliers like Sony and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. While the VR market has faced challenges in terms of size and sluggish sales, collaborations between major players can help propel the industry forward. The success of Apple’s Vision Pro headset will depend not only on its hardware but also on the availability of compelling software and diverse content. By leveraging their expertise and partnerships, Apple and its Asian suppliers have a chance to revitalize the VR market and redefine its future.