Nope, Apple didn't took new tech. MP3-players were a thing for quite some time before Apple entered the market, in fact I had a Archos Jukebox befoore the ipod released and the brand Rio was already strongly associated with mp3-players when Apple entered the market.
Smartphones also preexisted the iphone. Especially in japan i-mode was a success, leading to a high distribution of smartphone in an era before Apple entered the market.
We could discuss if something has to be successful from the beginning of the introduction of the tech. For instance computers exited for decades before they became a common item. That can happen if either new technology or new marketing/market placement/partnerships makes it more viable for the mass market. That's for instance a reason I think Google Stadia might be successful, it looks like Google adapts the already existing streaming tech with a few technological enhancements (without a real big innovation) but a lot of marketing and games (partnerships) in a way, that makes it more mass market compatible. Something like that might happen in the future for VR.
According to Wikipedia the first MP3 player launched in 1997. The Ipod was released in 2001. I would call a four year difference relatively recent. Virtual reality has been around for decades. It goes back to the Virtual Boy (1995) and earlier. There is also an even longer history of Hollywood pushing stereoscopic 3D and not getting the commercial results they want. And yet Hollywood has been pushing 3D movies again for the past few years, and again it isn't bringing in the revenue that they like.
There really is a long failure behind Virtual Reality specifically and stereoscopic 3D in general. There really are a lot of easier ways to innovate in the gaming space.
Where exactly in this thread was I arguing that VR will be successful? When I made fun of the PS Aim controllers (a peripheral for a peripheral)? When I was joking about a comparison with car caravans?
I don't know if VR devices will ever be mainstream or not. The jury is still out on that one. Of course I'm rooting for it (because I like it and a bigger base will bring more good VR games), but I've been neutral on predictions.
You on the other hand seem to be pretty sure that it will never happen. And your reason is that it will never be successful because it wasn't successful yet. It won't happen because it happened yet. That is flawed logic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_automobile
It took over a hundred years to make a "good enough" automobile (1769 - 1885, patented 1886), it took another 28 years to get it in mass production (Ford Model T) and it took over another decade to get the hardware base over "niche status"... now look where it is today.
What would have happened if Karl Benz had believed the nay-sayers, which only wanted "faster horses"? "mechanical cars are not new and they have never been successful. Just look at the first tries of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769 and François Isaac de Rivaz in 1808 and Siegfried Marcus in 1870. Mechanical cars have been proven to be unsuccessful over and over. And yet people want to keep trying the same thing and expect different results."... ignoring all the improvements that had been made since the first tries.
What would have happened if Henry Ford had believed the nay-sayers? "Nice gimmick/idea/concept of that automobile, but it will never become mainstream, so mass production is a waste of money!"... ignoring all the improvements that had been made since the first models.
Again: I don't know if VR devices will ever be mainstream or not.
But I know that we can't be sure that it will always fail. I know that it ain't the same situation than in the past. I know that there weren't only minor improvements, but that many improvements were huge, maybe even gamechanging.
I know that in the following years there will be VR headsets even better than the current devices (resolution, field of view, finger tracking, eye tracking, lighter and more comfortable headsets)... the wheels are already in motion and there are so many big companies involved that they won't bury the idea all at the same time.
I know that it ain't just a visual effect. I know that VR allows experiences not possible or safe or affordable without putting on a VR headset / VR goggles. I know that the immersion will get better.
And I know that nobody is trying to take you away the fun you have with gaming or watching movies / TV shows on a 2D flat screen. Horses and carriages haven't died out either.
Well if you want to give it 100 years or more then maybe you are correct. I will say that VR has a lot more issues than just motion sickness, although that in itself is a significant issue. Every few years I look into what developers are doing with it and and see that they really haven't recognized the many issues. It isn't going to be a big success any time soon or in a few years from now either.
But if you want to talk about the history of the car, then you know that it isn't technological improvements that really made it commercially viable. Henry Ford made cars mainstream by making the technology worse, rather than making it better. He stripped down all the features so that it could be bought by "lol cazualz". Of course that was the Virtual Boy's approach too and we know how that worked out. Maybe VR needs more than 100 years.
Also, yeah, horse and buggy has 99%+ died out which means for almost everyone it has died out.