Apple’s XR Headset: Vision Pro

By Anshel Sag, Patrick Moorhead - June 8, 2023

Apple’s highly anticipated XR headset, now known as the Vision Pro, has finally been unveiled, marking what many consider to be the third wave in the XR market. While primarily a VR headset, it incorporates several cameras for an augmented reality (AR) touch, creating a mixed reality experience. Apple aims to distance itself from the VR and Metaverse discussions, focusing instead on the vast potential of the AR market, albeit one that may be farther down the line. Taking a top-down approach, Apple wants to showcase the pinnacle of technology through Vision Pro, ensuring that users’ initial encounter with AR is extraordinary, regardless of their current affordability. With a hefty price tag of $3,500, Apple once again positions the product as aspirational, even though many rightly find the cost prohibitive.

More Vision Pro Thoughts:

  • If anyone else launched with a cable & external battery, they’d be criticized heavily. Why does Apple get a pass?
  • Many say $3500 isn’t a lot for a first gen product for a new category. Even if it was, most of those were business devices, this isn’t.
  • Vision Pro is not a first-gen device, it’s Apple’s first-gen device. Magic Leap would’ve been a better candidate for a first product in the category and comparing that price, even though it was originally pitched as a consumer device, it ended up being a business device as well.
  • Many new categories begin as business devices, which mitigates price concerns since the ROI more easily justifies higher costs. I don’t think Apple could’ve built Vision Pro at a lower price with these specs. But it has clearly decided to go ultra-premium first for the best experience.
  • The Vision Pro is being pitched as an AR headset by Apple. I see it as a mixed-reality headset that is helping Apple deliver AR down the road while preparing developers for spatial computing and a future AR headset. This device won’t make AR mass market, but it’ll help.
  • I’m genuinely surprised how little of Apple’s vision for AR and Vision Pro includes the smartphone and mobility. Long-term, AR is going to be world-scale and outdoors. That’s yet another reason why companies like Niantic Labs aren’t under threat from this announcement.
VP & Principal Analyst | Website | + posts

Anshel Sag is Moor Insights & Strategy’s in-house millennial with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Anshel has had extensive experience working with consumers and enterprises while interfacing with both B2B and B2C relationships, gaining empathy and understanding of what users really want. Some of his earliest experience goes back as far as his childhood when he started PC gaming at the ripe of old age of 5 while building his first PC at 11 and learning his first programming languages at 13.

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.