Apple’s announcement of the Vision Pro headset at its annual WWDC event created a buzz among tech enthusiasts. However, with a price tag of $3,500, the Vision Pro is a high-end device. It targets developers, content creators, and professionals. To appeal to a wider audience, Apple is reportedly working on a more budget-friendly version of the headset. Let’s explore what compromises we might see in this more affordable version.
A budget alternative to Vision Pro
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is developing a budget version of the Vision Pro headset to reduce the cost and broaden its appeal. It is rumored that this variant may drop the “Pro” moniker and be called the “Apple Vision” or “Apple Vision One”. While the exact details have yet to be confirmed, this move indicates Apple’s intention to make the headset more accessible to a wider consumer base.
However, the company is “currently planning a release of the cheaper model for as early as the end of 2025, meaning it won’t debut for about two years after the original Vision Pro,” Gurman said on Sunday in Bloomberg newsletter.
Slower processor and lower resolution displays
Gurman suggests that the budget Vision headset could come with a slower processor. The cheaper version could have an M2 chip, while the premium model could have an advanced M3 chip.
In terms of display quality, Apple could opt for lower resolution HD screens, carefully optimizing pixel density to maintain visual excellence. The current Vision Pro features dual 4K resolution microLED displays, a costly component.
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Reducing sensors and other features
To further reduce costs, Apple may reduce the number of sensors in the budget model. This could include using standard cameras instead of 3D cameras and opting for less premium audio speakers instead of Spatial Audio technology. By streamlining production processes and taking advantage of economies of scale, Apple aims to significantly reduce the price of the Vision One or Vision headset.
Consistent VisionOS experience
Despite the compromises, both the premium and budget versions will offer same VisionOS experience. This is in line with Apple’s strategy of offering a differentiated product lineup, similar to the distinction between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.
Apple has not commented on specific details of budget variant. However, Apple’s pursuit of a more affordable option reflects its commitment to making advanced technology more accessible. By striking a balance between cost and features, Apple aims to expand the reach of its innovative AR headset.