Monday, July 15, 2024

The Vision Pro 2 may already be dead

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Apple Vision ProDigital Trends

According to reports from The Information, Apple is working on a cheaper non-Pro version of the Vision Pro headset — and hitting pause on the development of the next high-end model. These rumors come from people involved with the supply chain and manufacturing of the Vision Pro, who claim that Apple has told at least one supplier that it’s stopping work on the next Vision Pro.

Just like any other Apple product with “Pro” in its name, the Vision Pro was always meant to be part of a lineup of multiple models, so it’s not too much of a surprise that a cheaper model is in the works. What is surprising, however, is that there may not be a second generation of the Vision Pro released alongside it — at least not anytime soon.

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One possible reason for this is the slowing sales of the current Vision Pro model — in April, Apple almost halved its shipment forecasts for this year despite the launch into non-U.S. markets this month. But who knows, if sales pick up again, the Vision Pro 2 plans might spring right back to life. The company just launched a number of significant improvements and new features with visionOS 2, which was part of its WWDC announcements — so development is still certainly underway.

One thing is for sure, if the second-gen Vision Pro really does get permanently shelved, the new cheaper model will have a lot of problems to address on its own. Not only will customers want it to strike a good balance between cost and features, but they’ll also expect the headset to be lighter and maybe expect the external battery to disappear. One cost-saving strategy that should definitely be implemented is getting rid of the display in the front of the headset — no one on a budget needs those fake eyes.

A lot of the tech that makes the Vision Pro experience possible seems difficult to cut costs on, however. Many of its strengths rely on its superior resolution, and if that is scaled down, no one will want to watch movies on it and people will start to wonder why they should buy it over the cheaper Meta Quest 3. Which, by the way, only costs $500.

In contrast, The Information thinks Apple could be planning something around the $1,500 mark for the cheaper Vision headset — though we don’t know anything for sure yet. While more than halving the price of the Vision Pro sounds great, it’s still a significant chunk of money, so the features will definitely still need to impress.

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