Yeah, it is somewhat crazy to start an Apple Vision Diary when the first-gen model isn’t set to go on sale until next year, and I currently don’t expect to buy until the third-gen, and I’m saying I think that could be four years away. But here we are (and I kind of already did).
Let’s start by looking at the timings of Vision Pro going on sale – both theory, and potential practice …
Vision Pro timings
Apple of course showed off the device in mid-2023, and says it will go on sale in “early” 2024.
Maybe it will. But given the Mac Pro experience, then again, maybe not. As you’ll recall, after the failure of the trashcan model in 2013, Apple took until 2017 to share its plans for another shot at it. It said at the time that it would be a year or more before it came to market, and it was in fact more than 2.5 years before anyone could actually buy one. And that was basically just a reboot of the original.
With Vision Pro, of course, Apple has not only shown off a very finished-looking prototype, but had sufficient confidence in it to let the likes of us get our paws on it… for 30 minutes, in a very carefully-scripted run-through.
A planned 6-9 month wait makes it abundantly clear that there are lots of things still left on the company’s development to-do list, including one of the headline features which differentiates it from other headsets (besides being, you know, much better): EyeSight.
Then – and I don’t mean to worry you here – there’s AirPower. I mean, they had to move all those AirPower engineers to a new project, right … ?
Seriously, though, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if “early” 2024 turned into “mid” 2024 turned into “late” 2024, or even beyond. This is a product Apple has to get right; the timing of its availability is way less important.
Vision/Vision Air/Vision One
We heard yesterday that Apple is still aiming to release a more affordable version “by the end of 2025.”
Apple could also probably get away with a simpler headband design, require AirPods for spatial audio instead of the strap with speakers in the Vision Pro, move to a physical versus automatic IPD — distance between eye pupils — adjustment and remove features like the 3D camera. Combined with a more refined production process, economies of scale and a cheaper frame, I’d imagine Apple could knock several hundred dollars off the price.
First, the company needs to do way better than knock “several hundred dollars” off the price. Second, if Vision Pro could plausibly be delayed until let’s say the end of 2024, then it would be equally plausible to imagine that Vision/Vision Air/Vision One, or whatever Apple opts to call the second-gen product, could be pushed into 2026.
So where would that leave the third-gen device I actually expect to buy? (And, by a slim majority, you guys have the same expectation.)
In those circumstances, it would almost certainly launch in 2027.
All of this is conjecture, of course
Maybe the remaining Vision Pro development will go exactly to plan. Maybe Apple even learned its lessons from the Mac Pro, and is under-promising in order to over-deliver. If that were the case, it could be very early in 2024.
But I’m not holding my breath for that. If I had to put money on it, I’d say the first Vision Pro announcement we’ll see in early 2024 will be Apple’s press release explaining the first delay.
Likewise, my 3rd-gen idea is just speculation at this point (an unkind person might even say wild speculation). We have literally no idea what the 2nd-gen version will cost, let alone an as-yet entirely hypothetical third-gen model. (I’m ignoring updated Vision Pro versions, as I’m not expecting those to come down to any sensible price level for my purposes.)
But yeah, that’s my Apple Vision Diary so far. See you in 2027.
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