Apple reportedly following iPhone model for Vision Pro, working on AR glasses and visionOS 3

Apple reportedly following iPhone model for Vision Pro, working on AR glasses and visionOS 3
Bloomberg’s Apple insider Mark Gurman reports in the latest edition of his newsletter Power On that Apple is and had always planned on following the iPhone model for Vision Pro. Furthermore, the company is reevaluating its roadmap, working on a pair of AR glasses and already developing visionOS 3.

The Apple Vision Pro released in February of this year with a whopping price tag of $3,499. Despite causing renewed interest in the XR (Extended Reality) industry, its cost keeps most consumers and VR enthusiasts away. Gurman says even a discounted Vision Pro would be unaffordable for most people.

He also compares the launch of the Vision Pro with that of the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The first iPhone wasn’t a global success overnight, and it was the iPhone 3G’s drastically reduced price that got people to buy it en masse. And the Apple Watch didn’t gain a real following until it started marketing health and fitness tracking features. Which is a practical use case for a smartwatch.

Gurman also claims that Apple’s plan had always been to follow the iPhone model. Which means that in a few years the Vision Pro will have become a line of headsets with low-end and high-end models. For the moment, however, Gurman lists the following most common reasons the Vision Pro is facing poor sales.

  • The mind-blowing price tag
  • No killer app to market the headset
  • Mainstream consumers don’t want to wear a headset for long periods of time

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The headset might be heavy on your face but it sure leaves your wallet feeling light.

Gurman also stated a few ways Apple could make a cheaper Vision Pro, while also mentioning that the company was having trouble doing so. His suggestions for reducing the Vision Pro’s cost were as follows:

  • Remove the EyeSight display (the exterior screen)
  • Use lower-quality displays on the inside instead of high-resolution Micro-OLEDs
  • Make do with a less powerful chip
  • Lower the passthrough visuals

Gurman does acknowledge that this will lead to a much less appealing experience. He also claims that Apple is considering making a cheaper variant that needs to be plugged into another Apple device to run. Presumably, this variant won’t have a battery and thus will cost less.

Apple is working on AR glasses and visionOS 3

According to Gurman, Apple has “renewed efforts” to develop a pair of AR glasses. Apparently, the company wants to release these glasses in 2027, but Gurman says everyone he’s talked to at Apple doesn’t believe this release date is possible.

This is in line with what other companies seem to be doing. Tech companies have been approaching EssilorLuxottica, the company that designed the Meta-powered Ray-Ban smart glasses, for potential partnerships centered around developing similar products. This comes after Meta restructured Reality Labs, its XR division, after unprecedented success of the Ray-Ban smart glasses.

Gurman also claims Apple is already working on the next big update for Vision Pro. Allegedly codenamed ‘Discovery’, visionOS 3 is slated for release next year, according to Gurman. No details were given about visionOS 3, but if the codename is anything to go by, we might see an update focused on getting people to use their headsets outside.

Lastly, Gurman had an interesting proposition for Apple. Instead of focusing on the Vision Pro being a jack of all trades, Gurman suggests focusing the Vision headsets on a particular niche. Like the aforementioned example of the Apple Watch becoming a fitness tracker. One of the examples he gives presents a scenario where Apple’s headset is just used for entertainment, FaceTime and for being an external monitor.

Our Apple Vision Pro review deemed it one of the best AR headsets currently on the market. It feels premium, the displays are fantastic and visionOS is quite intuitive. But the fact of the matter is that most consumers simply are not willing to spend so much money on a technology they think is a passing fad.
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