Apple Vision Pro could take four generations to perfect

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in Apple Vision Pro

It may take a couple of years for Apple to perfect the Apple Vision Pro, a report claims, with employees who worked on the headsets believing it could take four generations.

Apple Vision Pro
Apple Vision Pro



Apple's first-generation releases of products are usually impressive, as the Apple Vision Pro launch demonstrated. However, it usually takes a few iterations before products become exceptionally good.

While reviews of the headset propose that it hints at Apple's future but with the difficulties of modern technology's limitations, some inside Apple have similar feelings about the device.

In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman offers that the Apple Vision Pro is "more of a preview of the future than the future itself. It's too heavy and cumbersome, the battery life is far too short, and there aren't enough dedicated apps." Gurman adds there are more bugs in visionOS that you'd expect from an Apple product, "even a first-generation one."



As for when to expect the best version of the headset to arrive, Gurman offers that the software update process needs to be adjusted to speed up the release of bug fixes. The software "feels like" a beta version, and about a year away from being refined enough for everyday consumer use, he adds.

On the overall package, Gurman refers to "some people in the Vision Products Group" within Apple, who say it "could take four generations before the device reaches its ideal form." This is said to be similar to the progression of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Until Apple brings out a refined version, "The Vision Pro is essentially a prototype - just one where you have to pay Apple for the privilege of testing out," Gurman summarizes.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    It took Apple 4 years and 5 or 6 models (plus additional variations) for the Mac to overtake Apple II in sales. I personally think it took Apple to the Mac Plus before the Mac was truly usable for enough people to be considered a success, and the SE/30 before the compact Mac was really “powerful”. 
    foregoneconclusionmattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    LOL...battery life with an M2 desktop class processor is as good or better than headsets using mobile Snapdragon processors. And the weight difference is 3-4 ounces versus something like Meta Quest 3. It's certainly interesting that the tech press suddenly thinks that 18 ounces is just fine and 21 to 22 ounces is "too heavy". If it were the other way around and the AVP was 3-4 ounces lighter it would probably just be blown off with a "both headsets are similar in weight" line. Example: Meta Quest 3 doesn't do Atmos surround for audio and AppleInsider doesn't think the audio comparison between Quest 3 and AVP is even necessary. 

    And four generations? Laptops didn't hit their "perfect" form factor in four generations. More like 20 years. The reality is that the AVP is right in line with other headsets in terms of the form factor and generally blows their doors off with the functionality. 
    edited February 11 StrangeDayswilliamlondontenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    By perfect, they probably mean the headset form will have obvious issues minimized. This category has a long way it could evolve.
    edited February 11 Edgecrusherrwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,518member
    Not sure it will be perfect, but I could see it ready to start using all day by generation 4.
    Yes. It's an exercise in stating the obvious and applies to every company and every product in this field. 


    MplsPmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 31
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,894member
    avon b7 said:
    Not sure it will be perfect, but I could see it ready to start using all day by generation 4.
    Yes. It's an exercise in stating the obvious and applies to every company and every product in this field. 
    Apple has a long history of introducing a product that’s a solid first attempt but then refining it to something really good by V2 or V3 so it’s reasonable to expect the same with Vision Pro.

    By all accounts, Vision Pro is already impressive, the problem is the market and uses are still undefined. It’s hard to design a product when you don’t really know how people will use it. In that way VP and VR/AR are different from past products. They’re emerging technologies that are still trying to find their place in the market so unlike other products where Apple is refining the product and interface for the users, this time the users are learning how to use the product at the same time. 


    XedGrizzmickwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    iterative development is not new. original iPhone lacked a video camera or even copy & paste. Original Macintosh had a micro b&w screen. iterative is how apple rolls. 

    https://www.macworld.com/article/205387/apple-rolls.html
    edited February 11 muthuk_vanalingamEdgecrusherrwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    I thought one of Apple’s principles was that, unlike other companies, they didn’t release products before they could do them right and now they are saying that won’t happen until probably Gen 4.
    williamlondongrandact73
  • Reply 8 of 31
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,045member
    There's really no way to predict that this product will do or be. Some of the most astute reviewers seem to all agree that the AVP they now have is first and foremost an entertainment device, and it excels at that. I have a hard time envisioning (!) how something without a light enclosure on the user's face keeps that experience. So...the idea this will eventually look like an ordinary pair of spectacles seems impossible. Sure - the battery life and weight will be dealt with, but it will seemingly always look like a mask on your face. Not that this is somehow disqualifying as a useful product, but the idea it will ever be AirPods-esque in ubiquity is a tad premature.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    LOL...battery life with an M2 desktop class processor is as good or better than headsets using mobile Snapdragon processors. And the weight difference is 3-4 ounces versus something like Meta Quest 3. It's certainly interesting that the tech press suddenly thinks that 18 ounces is just fine and 21 to 22 ounces is "too heavy". If it were the other way around and the AVP was 3-4 ounces lighter it would probably just be blown off with a "both headsets are similar in weight" line. Example: Meta Quest 3 doesn't do Atmos surround for audio and AppleInsider doesn't think the audio comparison between Quest 3 and AVP is even necessary. 

    And four generations? Laptops didn't hit their "perfect" form factor in four generations. More like 20 years. The reality is that the AVP is right in line with other headsets in terms of the form factor and generally blows their doors off with the functionality. 
    Interesting point. I would say laptops took 10 years from the first real “portable” computers (Osborne and Compaq) to what we got in early PowerBooks and other brand laptops to be fully actualized. With Apple specifically, it was another 10 years from the McIntosh Portable (luggable) until the really great late-G3s. I think the modern laptop was really born with the PowerBook G4. It was the Ancient Greece of laptop. 

    If spacial computing really does turn into something, I think 5-ish years will hit its stride. That’s a little closer or iPhones and iPads. It depends on how fast Apple iterates and gets the price down. 

    VR has been an idea since the late 60s, with what we think of as VR coming out in the late 80s, and technology finally catching up, to what people want, in the last 5 years. Now with Apple coming at it from a productivity angle, at a high price. I’d give it 5 years or so before Apple figures out how people really want to use it,  gets the price down some, and the the rest of the industry producing their own versions of the hardware, as well as developers, as a whole, hitting their stride in application development.
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    Good. All the more an argument buying the 1stg gen.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    nubusnubus Posts: 309member
    Four full generations? Not speed bumps but generations. If like MacBook Pro generations - it will take 16 years. Mac Pro generations and we're talking four decades.
    Clearly some engineers are not happy that Tim told them to deliver. If Tim is in need of someone to manage that backlog a bit more efficient, then he can just DM me here :-D
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 2,475member
    I thought one of Apple’s principles was that, unlike other companies, they didn’t release products before they could do them right and now they are saying that won’t happen until probably Gen 4.
    Let me see if I understand what you're saying, you thought one of Apple's principles was that it doesn't release a product in a product category until that product is perfect? As in, there's no further benefit that can ever be made to that product because it's already perfect? If so, then you've grossly misunderstood why Apple released the original iPod, iPad, iPhone, various Macs, Watch, Apple TV, and Vision Pro as they did. These all encountered many changes in HW and SW that made them better, but they all started off as being great foundations. For example, we're almost a decade into having the Apple watch and you can still use your original Watch band with a new Watch and vice versa. That isn't to say this won't ever change, but it's a testament to trial and error in a lab and making your focal point to a design that will last, over simply throwing anything at a wall and hoping something sticks so you can turn a quick profit to shore up your quarterly earnings so the CEO can be headhunted by another company looking to give him a larger paycheck.



    williamlondontenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 2,475member

    eightzero said:
    There's really no way to predict that this product will do or be. Some of the most astute reviewers seem to all agree that the AVP they now have is first and foremost an entertainment device, and it excels at that. I have a hard time envisioning (!) how something without a light enclosure on the user's face keeps that experience. So...the idea this will eventually look like an ordinary pair of spectacles seems impossible. Sure - the battery life and weight will be dealt with, but it will seemingly always look like a mask on your face. Not that this is somehow disqualifying as a useful product, but the idea it will ever be AirPods-esque in ubiquity is a tad premature.
    1) Traditional looking glasses or even just AR glasses are impossible with this design and primary usage. Perhaps that will be the non-Pro Vision, but I doubt that. That seems more like a different product category altogether.

    2a) It also excels at interactive education. It's a bit limited right now — it is just 9 days on the market — but the two astronomy apps I've tried and the human heart app are  amazing. I think there's a microbiology and engineering one I can try. And just wait until we get more environments from 3rd-parties and video shot with the latest (and newer) iPhones. There will be a lot more immersive education tools that will be made possible soon enough. 

    2b) I can see this being used to help people with specific trauma and phobias, as well as a way to help people who can't easily interact with the world in ways most of us can.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,273moderator

    In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman offers that the Apple Vision Pro is "more of a preview of the future than the future itself. It's too heavy and cumbersome, the battery life is far too short, and there aren't enough dedicated apps." Gurman adds there are more bugs in visionOS that you'd expect from an Apple product, "even a first-generation one."

    These issues are not all that important. Having a personal cinema at the level of quality AVP offers and intuitive enough to setup and use by most people is enough of a selling point. The only issue AVP has just now is the high price point. Even if it was lightweight, had longer battery and more apps, $3500 (4x iPad Pro) is too much for most people to invest in.

    Reviewers have all said they don't see pixels so 4K displays are enough for the foreseeable future and the display cost will fall. The passthrough camera quality was lower than expected for some people so that will need better exterior cameras. Current M2 is 5nm, if they can get the power down to half at the same performance (M4-M5), they may be able to cut the fans and fan motors, which would allow significant reduction in form factor and weight.

    Reducing build cost from $1700 -> $1200 would bring retail price down to $2499. $1499 would be a very accessible price point but difficult for Apple to reach as long as they stick with high margins. If they can aim for $1999, that would allow refurbs and used items to get under $1500. If AVP 2 can hit $2499, old AVP 1 models will drop below $2k.

    A lot of people would happily buy a used AVP 1 under $2k just for watching movies, browsing the web, looking at photos. The capability of AVP 1 already justifies a purchase, most people just don't have this much disposable income.
    miiwtwowilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,518member
    Xed said:
    I thought one of Apple’s principles was that, unlike other companies, they didn’t release products before they could do them right and now they are saying that won’t happen until probably Gen 4.
    Let me see if I understand what you're saying, you thought one of Apple's principles was that it doesn't release a product in a product category until that product is perfect? As in, there's no further benefit that can ever be made to that product because it's already perfect? If so, then you've grossly misunderstood why Apple released the original iPod, iPad, iPhone, various Macs, Watch, Apple TV, and Vision Pro as they did. These all encountered many changes in HW and SW that made them better, but they all started off as being great foundations. For example, we're almost a decade into having the Apple watch and you can still use your original Watch band with a new Watch and vice versa. That isn't to say this won't ever change, but it's a testament to trial and error in a lab and making your focal point to a design that will last, over simply throwing anything at a wall and hoping something sticks so you can turn a quick profit to shore up your quarterly earnings so the CEO can be headhunted by another company looking to give him a larger paycheck.



    He's playing off what some people claim (over and over), that Apple doesn't release so called 'half baked' products. It's always to 'justify' why Apple hasn't released this or that feature/product and, in the opinions of the people who claim that, other manufacturers do release half baked products. 

    It's a line that was never true but still gets touted every time someone says Apple should have something that others have had for a while. 

    With the VP, Apple has run into a lot of the problems all manufacturers have had. Perhaps it was announced/released too early. Time will tell, although it certainly seems like some aspects are not quite ready for prime time. Enough, globally, to justify baking for another 6/12 months before release? 

    Irrespective of that, literally everyone in the market has a roadmap to the same objectives and they will be met at some point. 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 2,475member
    avon b7 said:
    Xed said:
    I thought one of Apple’s principles was that, unlike other companies, they didn’t release products before they could do them right and now they are saying that won’t happen until probably Gen 4.
    Let me see if I understand what you're saying, you thought one of Apple's principles was that it doesn't release a product in a product category until that product is perfect? As in, there's no further benefit that can ever be made to that product because it's already perfect? If so, then you've grossly misunderstood why Apple released the original iPod, iPad, iPhone, various Macs, Watch, Apple TV, and Vision Pro as they did. These all encountered many changes in HW and SW that made them better, but they all started off as being great foundations. For example, we're almost a decade into having the Apple watch and you can still use your original Watch band with a new Watch and vice versa. That isn't to say this won't ever change, but it's a testament to trial and error in a lab and making your focal point to a design that will last, over simply throwing anything at a wall and hoping something sticks so you can turn a quick profit to shore up your quarterly earnings so the CEO can be headhunted by another company looking to give him a larger paycheck.
    He's playing off what some people claim (over and over), that Apple doesn't release so called 'half baked' products. It's always to 'justify' why Apple hasn't released this or that feature/product and, in the opinions of the people who claim that, other manufacturers do release half baked products. 

    It's a line that was never true but still gets touted every time someone says Apple should have something that others have had for a while. 

    With the VP, Apple has run into a lot of the problems all manufacturers have had. Perhaps it was announced/released too early. Time will tell, although it certainly seems like some aspects are not quite ready for prime time. Enough, globally, to justify baking for another 6/12 months before release? 

    Irrespective of that, literally everyone in the market has a roadmap to the same objectives and they will be met at some point. 
    I see is a very big disparity between half-baked (which shouldn't ever be released to the public) and releasing them before they are ready.

    If you want to use the baking/cooking analogy, you always wait until a cake is fully baked before you remove it from the oven, but that doesn't mean it's ready for consumption and prevention. There's cooling down, laying with other cakes, icing, decorations, cutting, prevention on a a plate and serving. I'd say that AVP's HW isn't just fully baked but made into an amazing layered cake with icing and frosting in a very presentable way. Other companies have not done this. Touch ID and Face ID on the iPhone would be a great example where it was fully baked and presented in a great way while many Android-based vendors decided to ship out solutions that were very much half-baked or didn't even have all the necessary ingredients in the batter to begin with because they felt they had to present more than anything else.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,310member
    I don't see how Apple can possibly address "weight" in 4 generations.  Have they addressed weight with any other product since Apple's inception, such that they made a product so FEATHER LIGHT no one would ever complain about wearing it on their face?  No!  Somebody out there will ALWAYS complain about weight as long as a thing is worn on one's face!  And when will VISION PRO not be worn on the face?  Well, when Apple comes out with the Apple HoloDeck version, that's when!  And I assure you, that HoloDeck version won't be out in my lifetime.

    Therefore, people who complain about weight will just need to get over it because it's not going away anytime soon.  You can make it lighter than now, but never light enough to satisfy the "it weighs too much" people.
    danoxmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 2,475member
    jdw said:
    I don't see how Apple can possibly address "weight" in 4 generations.  Have they addressed weight with any other product since Apple's inception, such that they made a product so FEATHER LIGHT no one would ever complain about wearing it on their face?  No!  Somebody out there will ALWAYS complain about weight as long as a thing is worn on one's face!  And when will VISION PRO not be worn on the face?  Well, when Apple comes out with the Apple HoloDeck version, that's when!  And I assure you, that HoloDeck version won't be out in my lifetime.

    Therefore, people who complain about weight will just need to get over it because it's not going away anytime soon.  You can make it lighter than now, but never light enough to satisfy the "it weighs too much" people.
    Addressing weight and making something so no could possibly complain are two very different things. One is very likely to happen based on Apple's long history of released product and the natural state of technology, and the other is very unlikely based on the old adage that "you can't please everyone."
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,703member
    The Apple Vision is by far the best of it type on the market today nothing else comes close and the more crying about price and the little features that have nothing to do with the core functionally (the way it integrates with Mac OS) means Apple has hit it out of the park, don't like it don't buy it get something else if you can.

    The Apple Vision core features software/hardware are as low as they will ever be Apple won't be taking anything out however the M3,M4,M5 and the R2,R3,R4 versions are coming and they won't be 1500 dollars and something else will be added in time a in house Apple modem. I don't think Apple is interested in cheap, they are interested in being the best at the upper end of the market.

    The original iPhone came out in 2007 seventeen years ago the size of it and the current iPhones aren't that far off most if not all are actually bigger (mainly because of the end user demanding more functionally) batteries are about the same relatively speaking still waiting on that massive tech break thru. In headsets battery, SOC's, screens, camera's, servo-motors need to get a lot better and even smaller, and with those improvements the right to repair goes out the window the tools needed to repair would be in the millions of dollars. Out of reach of any local chop shops by the way.

    edited February 11 Xedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 2,475member
    danox said:
    The Apple Vision is by far the best of it type on the market today nothing else comes close and the more crying about price and the little features that have nothing to do with the core functionally (the way it integrates with Mac OS) means Apple has hit it out of the park, don't like it don't buy it get something else if you can.

    The Apple Vision core features software/hardware are as low as they will ever be Apple won't be taking anything out however the M3,M4,M5 and the R2,R3,R4 versions are coming and they won't be 1500 dollars and something else will be added in time a in house Apple modem. I don't think Apple is interested in cheap, they are interested in being the best at the upper end of the market.
    I can see Apple using an M2+R1, possibly with a smaller lithography so call them revision 2 SoCs, in a couple years that would be priced much lower than $3500 and simply called Apple Vision or Apple Vision SE. A great experience with tried-and-true performance, yet a couple years behind the latest-and-greatest AVP being offered.
    watto_cobra
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