Apple Inc. assigned a longtime iPhone executive as its first head of marketing for augmented reality, demonstrating the importance of the technology to the company’s future.
Frank Casanova moved from leading iPhone marketing for wireless carriers into the new role this month. On his LinkedIn profile, Casanova said he’s now "responsible for all aspects of Product Marketing for Apple’s Augmented Reality initiative."
Casanova has worked at Apple for about 30 years and was key in launching the original iPhone, striking deals with carriers to promote the handset and developing older Apple products like the QuickTime video player.
The decision by Apple to name its first head of product marketing for AR underscores the technology’s importance to the company’s quest for major new products. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
"There’s now a name and face on Apple AR efforts and a person with a track record of working on advanced technology projects at Apple," said Michael Gartenberg, former senior director of marketing at Apple. "Frank is the ideal person to lead Apple’s efforts in AR."
Augmented reality superimposes virtual content over a view of the real world and has been praised by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company first demonstrated interest in the field with ARKit software on iPhones and iPads, which allows apps to integrate the technology.
Apple is planning a 3D-based AR camera for iPhones in 2020 and has a team of hundreds of engineers working on an AR headset and operating system, Bloomberg News has reported.