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Magic Leap’s cheapest headsets will cost as much as a high-end phone, says CEO

Magic Leap is planning multiple editions of its augmented reality headsets for different levels of consumers and professionals, with the cheapest starting at the price of a “higher-end mobile phone to higher-end tablet,” says company president and CEO Rony Abovitz. “I think we’re trying to establish certain tiers — we’re not going to be a single-product company over time,” Abovitz told an audience during an interview at Recode’s Code Media conference today.

Abovitz says the Magic Leap One, a “creator edition” headset that’s supposed to be coming out this year, falls somewhere in the middle of Magic Leap’s price range. “We will have a product line in that price point probably for the company’s history, and we’ll probably have some above and we’ll have some below,” he says. “We’ll have even higher-end [versions] for hyper-pro, and then we’ll have wide mass-market” products.

Magic Leap hasn’t revealed a price point for the Magic Leap One or any other headset. But “mass-market” isn’t going to mean cheap. “Higher-end mobile phone to higher-end tablet zone is probably our floor” for pricing, Abovitz says. He didn’t specify exactly which devices that might mean, but didn’t object to a comparison with the new iPhone, which costs $1,000 or more. Previous reports have put the Magic Leap One closer to $1,500 or $2,000; Microsoft currently sells a development kit for its competing HoloLens headset at $3,000.

Abovitz says the high cost is justified because over time, a Magic Leap headset can replace “your phones, your televisions, your laptops, your tablets, which add up to thousands of dollars.” He’s previously told Rolling Stone that Magic Leap headsets will be priced like “more of a premium artisanal computer.”

Magic Leap is known as a secretive company, but it’s opened up slightly in recent months, as it’s announced plans to ship its first product. Today, it revealed details of a partnership with the NBA, announced alongside a video endorsement from retired player and current NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal — wearing what is apparently the largest available size of Magic Leap goggles.

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