Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Apple’s cheaper Vision Pro headset may have been scrapped, report claims


Apple’s Vision Pro headset is still months away from launching, but one well-known analysts has already painted a bleak picture for the device. According to the assessment, Apple might have canceled a low-cost version of the Vision Pro, leaving potential customers in the lurch.

The news was published in a report from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is thought to have well-placed sources in Apple’s supply chain. Previous leaks have suggested that Apple is working on a cheaper edition of the Vision Pro — due to launch in 2025 — to help users who can’t afford the base model’s $3,499 price tag, but Kuo thinks those plans might have been scrapped entirely.


Kuo doesn’t explain why the more affordable model has apparently been abandoned, but notes that “Unless Apple significantly reduces the price of Vision Pro, the anticipated significant shipment growth in Vision Pro shipments starting in 2025 may not materialize.”


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In other words, with no lower-cost version on the market, Apple will be forced to slash the price of the Vision Pro or face the prospect of much lower sales figures than it hoped for.

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A troubled road ahead


It’s not encouraging news, but that’s not all Kuo had to say on the matter. The analyst’s report added that shipments of the original Vision Pro could be well below the one million units the market currently anticipates. Indeed, Kuo believes Apple could ship 400,000 to 600,000 units “at most.” That’s similar to what previous reports have predicted.

Kuo also touched on the Vision Pro 2, a second-generation version of the $3,499 device (not to be confused with the mooted lower-cost model). There’s a chance that the Vision Pro 2 won’t enter production until the first half of 2027, Kuo says, meaning the original device could go three years without an update after its introduction in 2024.


All this bad news is a shame, Kuo seems to contend, because the headset “will undoubtedly provide users with an excellent experience.” Apple products are known for their quality as well as their high prices, but if Apple can’t solve the Vision Pro pricing problem, all that effort might have been in vain.

Despite the device’s exceptional quality, Kuo says the main problem is “why users need this product.” Still, the analyst suggests that there is still hope: the Vision Pro may yet become Apple’s “next star product,” but it could “take longer than the market expects” to get there.

We’ll have to see what Apple plans to do over the next few months and years. Hopefully it won’t forget about customers for whom $3,499 is too much to pay for a mixed reality headset.

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