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.