Research firm says Apple spends this much in parts for each Vision Pro headset

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Research firm says Apple spends this much in parts for each Vision Pro headset
Apple's Vision Pro spatial computer is not the sort of product that you might buy on a whim. Priced at $3,499 and up, this is an extravagant purchase that many people just cannot afford without having to make some adjustments to their budget. We know how much it costs a consumer to buy a Vision Pro, but how much does it cost Apple to purchase the parts needed to make one? Research firm Omdia (via CNBC) was able to estimate that each headset has a "bill of materials" that adds up to $1,542.

That doesn't mean that Apple clears a profit of $1,957 on each 256GB Vision Pro sold. After all, the "bill of materials" doesn't include how much Apple spent on research & development, the cost to package the product and the money spent on marketing the device.

The priciest part of the Vision Pro is the 1.25-inch micro-OLED display that goes in front of the user's eyes. This part is made by Sony. Omdia estimates that each display costs $228 and two of them are required for each headset. A teardown by iFixit reveals that the resolution of the displays comes to 3660 by 3200 pixels. You can compare that to the resolution of the iPhone 15 which comes to 2556 x 1179. And because the Vision Pro displays are smaller than the iPhone's screens, the headset displays contain 3,386 pixels per inch compared to the 460 pixels per inch for the screen on the iPhone 15.

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Following the display, the chips used for the Vision Pro are the next expensive component. This includes the M2 SoC which is the silicon used by Apple in the iPad Pro (2022), and the R1 custom processor. The latter handles the input from 12 cameras, five sensors, and six microphones to make it appear as though things are happening right in front of the user's eyes, in real-time. The R1 chip streams new images to the displays within 12 milliseconds.

Apple wouldn't comment on the estimate and CEO Tim Cook, discussing such BOM (bill of materials) estimates said, "I’ve never seen one that’s even close to accurate." But that didn't stop him from defending the price of the device. "If you look at it from a price point of view, there’s an incredible amount of technology packed into the product.

"There’s 5,000 patents in the product, and it’s built on many innovations that Apple has spent multiple years on from silicon to displays and significant AI and machine learning," Cook added. "All the hand tracking, the room mapping, all of this stuff is driven by AI, and so we’re incredibly excited about it."

The first Apple quarterly earnings report to include Vision Pro sales should be released the first week in May which will cover the fiscal second quarter of 2024. That report will include  results for January through March. The spatial computer was released by Apple on February 2nd.
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