Apple already working on a cheaper viewer than Vision Pro

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The Apple viewer made official at WWDC will not be cheap. We had been prepared by the numerous rumors on the eve, Apple confirmed it during last week’s event: at the time of launch, i.e. in 2024, they will need $3,500 to take one home. Everyone has their own opinion on whether or not Vision Pro is worth that money, and in any case it will be difficult to say until you can try it for more than the half hour that Apple has allowed those present at Apple Park, but it is there is no doubt that a cheaper variant will be needed for the “numbers”.

No doubt it will come. The suggests it logic (the one just presented is called Vision Pro…) and the former suggest it rumorwith Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman already teasing something in his Power On newsletter. “Apple is already working on a cheaper variant of the headset that will help sell more units,” he writes, underlining that it is no small challenge for Cupertino.

Choosing what to keep and what to give up in Vision Pro to pull the list price down is not simple, simply because billions of dollars have been invested in the project of the first viewer and despite the exorbitant selling price Apple would almost struggle to make money. Gurman writes that about $15 billion would be invested in Vision Pro, so the $3,500 list equates to little or no margin. How to reduce costs then?

NEGOTIABLE AND OTHER ESSENTIAL FEATURES

The most expensive components of Vision Pro would be cameras and sensors, chips and displays. For a “non-Pro” Vision in Cupertino, they could start from here, choosing less valuable components but which do not appreciably compromise the user experience for a common user. One of the hypotheses also concerns a simpler band that requires AirPods for thespatial audio, manual instead of automatic adjustment of the interpupillary distance (IPD) or even the give up a 3D camera.

And then economies of scale would intervene (which could also be good for Vision Pro), the production process which, once fully operational, would bring costs down, and perhaps a construction a little less refined in terms of materials: thus, according to Gurman, Apple could get a viewer several hundred dollars cheaper than Vision Pro. Without giving up some features on which the Apple would not compromise: the EyeSight external displays that maintain eye contact with the wearer of the viewer, or the eye and hand tracking system, in fact the only system to control the viewer and therefore indispensable.

According to Gurman, there is a team in Cupertino that is already working on “standard” Vision with the aim of having it ready for marketing by the end of 2025. The works would therefore have already started, parallel to those for the second generation of Vision Pro: the intention is to have a two-pronged arrayboth for standard and Pro iPhones, and for headsets.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise