We are eagerly anticipating the release of the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset from Apple, which is expected to launch in the early part of next year. However, there is still uncertainty about its release date for countries outside of the U.S. In fact, it is uncertain if Vision Pro will be available globally. According to a recent report, Apple is already deep in the development process for future versions of the headset, as the hardware for the initial model has already been completed.
According to the most recent release of his Power On newsletter, journalist Mark Gurman from Bloomberg delves into the current status of Cupertino’s mixed-reality division. Surprisingly, he states that the hardware for the first-generation Vision Pro has been prepared for several months, allowing the Vision Products Group to focus on developing future models.
We have been aware that Vision Pro is mostly completed, as journalists were granted early access to it in June. However, it has been widely believed that there has been ongoing development since the soft launch, as it would not make sense for the company to delay the release until 2024 otherwise. The notion that the team has completely abandoned the first-generation model is unexpected, but it is possible that there are still improvements needed for the rest of the ecosystem before Apple is ready to sell the product to consumers. It is possible that Apple is still organizing third-party app developers or overseeing accessory development.
According to Gurman’s report, it appears that Apple is more interested in future Vision products rather than the initial one, which experts say will not be sold in large numbers. Gurman emphasizes the importance of a cheaper version of the device (Vision Pro’s high price of $3,500 may deter mainstream buyers) and mentions the possibility of a lower-cost Vision or Vision One model that has been discussed since summer. He also notes that the size and user-friendliness for glasses wearers are key factors in development. The release of a pair of glasses exclusively for AR has been postponed due to setbacks, but Gurman believes that Apple will revisit this idea in the future.
It’s understandable, of course, for Apple to be thinking long-term, given the flaws, high price, and intimidating barriers to entry of the first Vision Pro handset. Mixed reality, the company hopes, will eventually replace the iPhone as its premier platform, but that isn’t going to happen overnight. Still, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that looking beyond the first launch will make skeptical buyers even less likely to take the plunge on a product that not even its own maker is taking seriously.