Apple CEO Tim Cook was slammed Tuesday for failing to don the “Vision Pro” headset during the company’s much-anticipated reveal of its pricey new goggles.
In classic Apple fashion, Cook introduced the “Vision Pro” as the company’s latest “one more thing” during his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California on Monday.
The Apple boss touted the $3,500 device as a game-changer, but did not handle or wear the headset during the presentation — leading to backlash from tech pundits.
“Unless I missed something, it is very curious to me why there are no photos of Tim Cook or other Apple executives actually wearing the Vision Pro,” Bloomberg tech correspondent Mark Gurman said in a now-viral tweet. “If that is indeed true, that was of course a calculated decision. The question is why?”
“For sure a calculated move,” Gurman added alongside a photo of Cook standing next to the headset. “There is no reason other than meme control for Tim Cook to be standing next to the biggest product of his tenure rather than wearing it. In fact, it just looks strange to not be wearing it.”
Tech writer Alex Kantrowitz also called out the company’s glaring omission.
“Still can’t believe Tim Cook did not wear the Vision Pro yesterday,” Kantrowitz said. “What does it say about a device when a CEO refuses to use it on launch day?”
One social media user floated the theory that Cook didn’t put on the device in order to avoid becoming a laughing stock from on onslaught of memes that targeted Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he donned the Oculus headset used for the company’s “Horizon Worlds” metaverse.
“Nobody looks good wearing a headset. We all look like big nerds,” replied Phillip Shoemaker, a former executive for Apple’s App Store.
Tech researcher Jane Manchun Wong suggested the possibility that “EyeSight,” a feature that allows users’ eyes to be visible to others in the same room, “isn’t ready yet.”
Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.
The “Vision Pro” was widely panned on social media after its debut event, with users grumbling over everything from its clunky design to its $3,499 price tag.
The crowd at the event on Apple’s Cupertino campus seemed less than impressed with the device — which resembles a pair of oversized goggles with a metallic finish and flexible head strap.
Videos taken at Apple’s WWDC event revealed attendees audibly groaning — and even laughing — after executives revealed the headset would cost $3,499 and not be available until early next year.
Other users took to social media to poke fun at the Vision Pro — Apple’s first major product in a decade.
“If Pornhub gets approved for the App Store, it is all over for humanity,” said the Twitter account Wall Street Silver.
“POV: the year is 2035 and HR is about to fire you,” one user wrote alongside a photo of someone wearing the Vision Pro.
Another user joked that Apple found Steve Jobs would never have approved the design of the headset.
“It’s funny to imagine the violence with which Steve Jobs would have responded to this product,” writer Robert Evans said. “Engineers would have been flogged, their weeping wounds salted. The design team would have been walled up in a Cupertino basement.”
“Apple’s Vision Pro headset is a $3500 product designed to isolate you from your environment and strap a screen to your face so you’re constantly making money for tech companies. It’s not a vision for the future of computing we should accept,” tech critic Paris Marx said.
After reaching an all-time high ahead of the WWDC event, Apple shares turned negative during the Vision Pro presentation and closed down more than 1%.
On Tuesday, Apple’s stock was still slightly in the red.
The analyst response to the Vision Pro launch was largely positive – though some questioned the headset’s price and its lack of a so-called “killer app” to entice users at launch.
This story originally appeared on NYPost