Apple plans to take over the augmented reality market with an AR headset called Vision Pro, which costs three thousand five hundred dollars each.
I don’t believe that’s really true.
Yes, the Vision Pro seems to be better than other helmets on the market. Looks good on your head, if you don’t mind wearing ski goggles. It’s technically much more advanced than anything we’ve seen. And it has the strength of Apple’s ecosystem behind it, which means there will be thousands of apps for this thing in about a year.
But from the reviews I’ve seen online, most people are stuck on the price. With good reason: At $3,499, the Vision Pro is significantly more expensive than comparable headsets, such as the $499.99 Meta Quest 3 and the $999.99 Meta Quest Pro. Frankly, it’s not even in the same category, and I can imagine many VR/AR enthusiasts raising their hands in disgust when they hear Apple’s price tag for the Vision Pro. Even the price of Apple shares sharply decreased(opens in a new tab) when the Vision Pro was announced, probably because the market thinks a very expensive headset isn’t something that will do wonders for Apple’s revenue.
How many Apple products can you buy for a Vision Pro headset?
The price is high for a reason, and it might not be what you think. Yes, the Vision Pro probably costs a fortune to produce. With an M2 and a new R1 chip inside, a dozen cameras and a bunch of sensors, it surely costs Apple quite a bit of money to make this beast.
But the real reason Apple released such a powerful and expensive headset, I think, is that these aren’t aimed at the masses. It’s a device that developers, and perhaps a handful of enthusiasts, can play with. Apple surely doesn’t expect to sell millions of them at $3,499 apiece.
No matter how sleek it looks in promotional photos, Apple will surely be working on a way to connect the battery to the headphones in a more elegant way.
In fact, I bet Apple didn’t even to want sell too many. The company may not be able to produce the headphones at very high volume, but more importantly, Apple probably doesn’t want the Vision Pro in too many hands until the many new experiences that it proposes to be considerably refined.
Also consider the launch date. According to Apple, the Vision Pro will launch “early next year”. Reader, we are at the beginning of June. That means there’s at least a six-month wait until the Vision Pro is even available; possibly a few more months. Apple doesn’t usually announce products this early before general availability. Another thing: the Vision Pro will initially only be available in the United States, with more countries coming(opens in a new tab) “later next year” according to Apple. This could mean that many potential users will have to wait a year or more before they can purchase the headset.
Before the Vision Pro launched, we heard rumors that Apple actually had one or even two more headsets in the works. Now that the Vision Pro is out, it makes even more sense to me. A cheaper version of the headset – which would cost about as much as an iPhone – could arrive in 2024. And this one, launched when there is already a healthy third-party app ecosystem for Apple’s virtual world, will be the headphones that Apple expects to sell by the millions.
What I’m saying here is that there’s no reason to get mad at the exorbitant price of the Vision Pro. The Vision Pro is a technology showcase, a device that shows the world what can be done with augmented reality when you have a lot of money to spend on research and development (Apple says it has filed over 5,000 patents related to the Vision Pro ). The real Apple headset that we ordinary people should even consider buying is the one that comes after the Vision Pro.