Apple officially announced its new Vision Pro spatial computer at WWDC this week, including the $3,500 price tag. Vision Pro isn’t slated to be released until sometime in early 2024, but Apple is still also hard at work on a more affordable version of the product…
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is currently aiming to release a more affordable AR/VR spatial computer product by the end of 2025. At the same time, Apple is also (unsurprisingly) working on a new version of Vision Pro that features a faster processor inside for even better performance.
Now that we know the VIsion Pro name, Gurman speculates that the more affordable version could be called something like plain “Apple Vision” or perhaps “Apple Vision One.” But how exactly will Apple reduce that price? Gurman has a few ideas.
In the initial version of Vision Pro, the most expensive components are the M2 and R1 chips, the two 4K micro-LED displays, and the camera and sensor hardware. To cut costs, Apple could “probably use lower quality screens,” a lower-spec processor, as well as a smaller array of cameras and sensors. The company could also remove the spatial audio speakers from the headset itself and instead push users toward using their own AirPods Pro for audio:
Apple could also probably get away with a simpler headband design, require AirPods for spatial audio instead of the strap with speakers in the Vision Pro, move to a physical versus automatic IPD — distance between eye pupils — adjustment and remove features like the 3D camera. Combined with a more refined production process, economies of scale and a cheaper frame, I’d imagine Apple could knock several hundred dollars off the price.
But Gurman points out that there are a few areas where Apple is unlikely to compromise:
But there are a few areas I believe Apple will not compromise on in a cheaper Apple Vision. The external screen, known as EyeSight, to show a wearer’s eyes, as well as the eye- and hand-tracking system, are as core to the Apple Vision as a touchscreen is to an iPhone. I would expect a cheaper model to keep those features.
This timeline feels very, very ambitious to me. Vision Pro itself was delayed multiple times and I would not at all be surprised to see the more affordable version of the device face that same fate. If Apple is ultimately able to release a more affordable version of Vision Pro in 2025, my guess is it wouldn’t be until the very, very end of the year.
Gurman also reported on Apple’s plans to release a more affordable version of Vision Pro back in January, while also noting that Apple’s plans for AR glasses had been delayed. Today’s report corroborates that Apple, in an ideal world, is still aiming for that same 2025 release window.
How low would Apple have to get its AR/VR headset price for you to consider buying one? Let us know in the comments below.
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