While the anticipation for Apple’s Vision Pro headset is at an all-time high, rumors of a second-generation, more affordable model are already making waves. Mark Gurman, in his Power On newsletter, delves into the potential pricing and compromises Apple might make to introduce a cost-effective version of its spatial computer.
Currently, the base price for the Apple Vision Pro is set at $3,499. However, this may vary depending on storage options and the inclusion of essential accessories to enhance the headset’s functionality.
Gurman suggests that Apple has contemplated pricing the upcoming “low-cost” Vision Pro model between $1,500 to $2,500. To achieve this price point, Apple may make some concessions, including lower-resolution displays and employing an iPhone processor instead of a Mac chip. Additionally, features like EyeSight could be omitted, and the device might sport fewer external cameras and sensors.
It’s worth noting that launching the Apple Vision Pro poses significant challenges, making the introduction of a low-cost model seem quite ambitious. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously stated in September that Apple had scrapped its low-cost headset project, originally scheduled for 2025.
If Apple proceeds with this cost-effective model while retaining these compromises, it could complicate the initial phase of the Vision Pro’s release. For starters, it appears that the device won’t be available outside the US in 2024. Furthermore, as Apple plans to slowly roll out the Vision Pro in 2025, the existence of a low-cost model might leave potential buyers uncertain about which headset to opt for. Lastly, a full-fledged second generation is only anticipated around 2027, roughly three years after the debut of the original product, signaling a substantial gap between releases.
Gurman offers insight into what to expect from the second generation – a sleeker, more lightweight device that mirrors the features of the first generation. Apple also has plans to streamline the design by integrating prescription lenses directly into the device.
With numerous challenges on the horizon, Apple’s approach to the Vision Pro headset’s product strategy remains a subject of curiosity. The premium pricing is a significant hurdle to clear, and introducing a lower-cost model may not be the panacea for attracting a broader audience to spatial computing. Nonetheless, Apple’s commitment to innovation and its dedication to enhancing the user experience make the future of spatial computing an exciting prospect for tech enthusiasts.