Low-Cost Apple Vision Pro Has Been A Work In Progress For Many Years, But Company Struggling To Keep Price Down While Retaining Critical Features

Written on 06/23/2024
Taylor Bell

A cheaper version of the Apple Vision Pro has become the focus of the tech giant's mixed reality offensive, as it was recently reported that development of its direct successor has been paused. However, Apple has been working on this version for years, but faced a major obstacle: reducing costs while maintaining the product's core features.

The affordable Apple Vision Pro is expected to be priced at $1,500 to $2,000, with an initial launch timeline of 2025.
It was previously reported that a slightly more pocket-friendly version of the Apple Vision Pro would be priced at $1,500 to $2,500. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman provided an update in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. The unnamed device, codenamed N107, is expected to be available sometime in 2025, and Apple has not deviated an inch from its original launch intentions after the official launch of the $3,499 headset. But the Cupertino company faced problems that are likely to jeopardize the presentation schedule, such as cost cutting.

It seems that Apple can't lower the price of the affordable Apple Vision Pro without sacrificing key features. We previously reported that the company was exploring other ways to cut component costs, such as switching from Mac chipsets to iPhones, using lower-quality and lower-resolution displays, reducing the number of cameras, and dropping EyeSight. Now, Gurman reports that while these things remain on Apple's cost-cutting list, the tech giant may harm the user experience by doing so, which could lead to fewer buyers opting for cheaper options.

There are other ways to ease the financial burden on future buyers, but none of these options are ideal. For example, one of the prototypes has a narrower field of view than the more expensive version. The company is also considering connecting its upcoming head-mounted wearable to a Mac or iPhone. This approach could allow Apple to save on the cost of processing power and components needed to make the cheaper device a completely standalone product, but keeping it connected to another Apple product is not a rosy scenario.

Fortunately, the company has a few months to figure out how to address these obstacles. The company's talented team of engineers has experienced its share of internal conflicts, but they are still united in one goal: to make the best consumer-focused products in the world.