Friday, April 19, 2024

Vision Pro visors are cracking, and no one knows why

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Wohinbistdu's and dornbirn's Vision Pros have cracks in the middle at the bottom of the front glass.Some Vision Pros have cracks in the middle, at the bottom of the front glass. Wohinbistdu and dornbirn / Reddit

The front glass of Apple’s Vision Pro is cracking down the middle for a small, but growing number of people. The cause is a mystery because the owners say they didn’t drop, mishandle, or abuse the headset in any way. After an outlier 18 days ago, several more owners have reported the same problem occurring in the past 48 hours.

Owners are concerned as the Vision Pro, Apple’s first spatial computer, is an ultra-premium device. Beyond the $3,500 starting price, the prospect of paying for expensive repairs to unexplainable problems pushes the cost even higher.

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Apple hasn’t issued an official statement about why some Vision Pro visors are cracking or how it will address the issue. There’s plenty of speculation and a few clues that could help you avoid this trouble. If you pay for the repair, it costs $800 to replace the front glass. If you buy the $500 Apple Care+ plan, the cost drops to $300, so you’re still out $800.

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The first report was posted on Reddit by Wohinbistdu on February 5, 2024, just three days after Apple launched the Vision Pro. A faint white line reaches up from the bottom center of the glass, reminiscent of the cracks that appeared in the first generation of folding phones.

Of course, the Vision Pro doesn’t fold. It does, however, have a complex curvature in that region that rolls over the bottom edge, while simultaneously bending upward to make room for the nose. Is Apple’s glass manufacturing too complex? There were reportedly manufacturing issues that delayed the Vision Pro’s launch. That complicated glass surface also covers the lidar sensor and there’s a chance the crack could affect depth mapping.

An insane 10-foot drop test resulted in a Vision Pro visor that cracked like automotive safety glass. But drops weren’t the issue according to ongoing reports from Vision Pro owners.

After initially being denied a replacement unit by an Apple senior customer support agent and then facing delays because the local Apple Store was too busy, Wohinbistdu finally got a replacement for the unexpectedly cracked Vision Pro yesterday.

this Vision Pro has a long crack running top to bottom. inphenite / Reddit

Redditor dornbirn received 417 upvotes for an eye-catching title “Cracked! But not dropped.” And inphenite’s Vision Pro crack is the worst example yet. The line of broken glass runs top to bottom in stark contrast to the glossy black of the front panel. ContributionFar8997 got a nice close-up of the problem.

Some people report leaving their Vision Pro headsets charging with the protective front cover on. Some also place them in the case. Since the Vision Pro’s battery is external, there’s no reason for any thermal expansion of the battery to affect the headset and glass. Still, it might be safer to turn off your Vision Pro and unplug it overnight when leaving the battery on to charge.

If you are already suffering from a cracked front glass on your Vision Pro, be aware that Apple support might not have an official response, so if your claim is rejected by one representative, try again. The next person might offer a free replacement.

Stay tuned and we’ll provide an update when Apple makes a statement about this issue.

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