There are many ways that Apple could cut costs to make a cheaper version of the Apple Vision Pro headset, a leaker claims, but you may have to wait until the end of 2025 to see it.
The first headset release, the Apple Vision Pro, is both high-specification and high-cost, with its $3,500 price tag being too high for typical members of the public to even consider spending. This initial release will be followed up by a second more consumer-friendly version, but that introduces the topic of determining what bits to trim costs on.
In the Bloomberg "Power On" newsletter on Sunday, Mark Gurman discusses the problem of pricing, and that Apple considered holding off on announcing the cost. However, it decided to make the price known since it would "become an even larger target" of negative headlines if it wasn't revealed during WWDC.
The comparison of its cost being in the same ballpark as a high-end television, sound system, computer, and camera but providing more value "may be factually true" but is still "quite misleading," suggests Gurman. TVs are intended to be shared, unlike the headset's single-user existence, not to mention that potential Vision Pro buyers probably already own the mentioned hardware.
Apple could've said its technology was so expensive that it would be losing money on its $15 billion investment into the project, Gurman reasons. "Making an apples to oranges comparison to TVs, monitors, cameras, and consumers undercuts the reality."
Raising the prospect of Apple's work on a second cheaper headset, Gurman explores where costs could be cut compared to the Vision Pro. The three highest costs, namely the camera and sensor array, dual Apple Silicon chips, and twin 4K microLED displays, could be replaced by cheaper alternatives.
Gurman also proposes the use of a simpler headband design, a requirement for AirPods for spatial audio, ditching the automatic IPD adjustment, and the loss of the 3D camera feature. However, Apple will probably keep the external EyeSight screen, as well as the eye- and hand-tracking system.
According to Gurman, a release of a cheaper model of Vision Pro is anticipated for the end of 2025 at the earliest. Apple is also working on a second-generation Vision Pro with a faster processor, insinuating Apple will offer a non-Pro and Pro model selection as it does with the iPhone.