Disney CEO Bob Iger finally announced some good news after months of cuts and layoffs: a partnership with Apple on its new Vision Pro headset
- Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a partnership with Apple on its futuristic new headset.
- Vision Pro was unveiled on Monday and Disney+ content will be available on it from day one.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has had a rough time since he climbed back into the saddle as the leader of the Mouse House, but he scored a much-needed win on Monday when he announced his company's partnership with Apple on its new Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.
"We're constantly in search of new ways to entertain, inform, and inspire our fans by combining extraordinary creativity with groundbreaking technology to create truly remarkable experiences," Iger said at Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference. "We believe Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that can make our vision a reality."
Iger said he'd tried the device and was struck by the "deeply personal experiences" it could create to bring Disney fans "closer to the characters they love."
He said Disney+, the company's streaming service, would be available on day one of the Vision Pro, which Apple said would start shipping "early next year." The immersive headset will let you watch movies and TV on a massive virtual screen in environments like space, or drop you right into the action like in an underwater tour, both of which Iger showed off on Monday. It will also support 3D, like Meta's Quest headsets.
Iger also showed off how VR could change how fans watch sports, bringing them court side and letting them change the angles.
Getting to actually build something new instead of trimming Disney's business was likely a welcome change for Iger. He returned to the CEO role in November during a troubled time for the company and for the media industry at large.
In recent months, Iger has cut 7,000 jobs in three rounds, the latest of which began in late May and will total 2,500. The cuts eliminated the company's metaverse team, launched by previous CEO Bob Chapek and headed up by longtime Disney exec Mike White.
Iger also scrapped plans for a $1 billion campus in Florida amid a war with its governor, Ron DeSantis. He even pulled dozens of shows and movies off Disney+ and Hulu, taking a write-down of $1.5 billion in the June quarter.
These moves were all likely necessary amid economic headwinds, but it had to hurt a guy who spent decades building Disney up through acquisitions like Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars, expansions at theme parks, and much more. No one likes to be the hatchet man.
While this partnership is good news for Iger and Disney, it's worth remembering that Apple's Vision Pro is still looking like a niche product, at least for a while. It'll cost an eye-popping $3,499, for one thing. Compare that to Meta's upcoming Quest 3, which will cost $499. And VR has yet to take off in a major way for any company.
Still, if the Vision Pro is a "revolutionary platform," as Iger predicted Monday, Disney will be right there to reap the rewards.
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