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Apple ‘jumped the shark’ with Vision Pro headset: Tony Fadell

Apple officially “jumped the shark” with its release of the $3,499 “Vision Pro” mixed-reality headset, according to a former company executive widely credited as the “father of the iPod.”

Tony Fadell, a 54-year-old executive who played a key role in the development of Apple’s now-discontinued music player, said he doubts the pricey gadget will gain wide acceptance.

“Apple’s Vision Pro is a technological Tour de Force – very impressive [hardware],” Fadell tweeted. “But with the ‘consumer’ apps & marketing for $3500 w/2-hour battery life, Apple has truly ‘Jumped The Shark.’”

Later, Fadell replied to a tweet from supply chain consultant Jeff Lutz, who argued Apple has “more work to do on power consumption” and floated the possibility of the company selling a larger battery pack as a separate accessory for the Vision Pro.

“It’s [sic] has truly nothing to do with 2hr battery life,” Fadell added. “The apps & marketing pitch is awful even if it had a 24 HR battery life…This is not a painkiller. Platforms don’t become useful products. Useful products become platforms…”

The Vision Pro drew a mixed response following its reveal at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. While Wall Street analysts largely praised Apple for the product, the exorbitant price tag, bulky design and lack of a so-called “killer app” at launch raised some eyebrows on social media.

Some tech pundits expressed surprise that Apple CEO Tim Cook did not use or even wear the Vision Pro headset during the launch event.

Elsewhere, videos taken during the live reveal event showed that audience members audibly groaned when Apple revealed the Vision Pro’s price — and said it would not be available to the public until early 2024.

Tony Fadell left Apple in 2008.
Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

Tim Cook
Tim Cook faced some criticism for not wearing the Vision Pro during the reveal.
AFP via Getty Images

Cook described the Vision Pro as the “first Apple product you look through and not at” and suggested it was an innovation on par with the original iPhone or Mac computer.

The phrase “jumped the shark” refers to the idea that a company or creative entity has resorted to shock value to lure an audience.

The phrase was originally linked to the sitcom “Happy Days,” which once featured a scene in which main character Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler, literally jumped over a shark on water skis.

Vision Pro
The Vision Pro only has two hours of battery life.
Getty Images

Fadell joined Apple in 2001 and rose to become the senior vice president of its iPod division before departing in 2008.

He is also the founder and former CEO of Nest Labs, the “smart home” firm that was later acquired by Google.

Apple discontinued the iPod product line last year after a two-decade run.

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