Why Apple Vision Pro could evolve similarly to the Apple Watch

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware

If you're already wondering when the next generation of the Apple Vision Pro will arrive, and what features it may have, the history of the Apple Watch might yield some clues.

Man using the Apple Vision Pro to capture spatial video while wearing an Apple Watch



Given the complexity of the Apple Vision Pro, it's very unlikely that a revamped second-gen model will arrive on the original's one-year anniversary. Apple has presented its technical take on the product, but the sales and feedback of users will help shape the next one.

The Apple Vision Pro, like the Apple Watch, is a product that was entirely developed in the Tim Cook era of the company's history. Apple has been conservative about launching all-new products, preferring to iterate on its existing and popular Mac, iPhone, and iPad lines.

That said, the Apple Watch was and continues to be a hit, following some muddled marketing at the beginning. Looking at the development stages of the Watch may provide us with clues on how the future releases of the Vision Pro and its potential offshoots may unfold.

The first generation



As with so many Apple products, the Apple Watch was not the first smartwatch to enter the market, but debuted on April 24th, 2015 as a more fully-formed device. It was originally positioned as fashion primary, and secondarily a sport accessory, a higher-end fitness device to compete with popular step-counters like the early FitBit.

Apple sought to make the device a fashion accessory in those early days, complete with a $10,000 rose or yellow gold version. Apple gifted a number of these to what would now be called "influencer" celebrities.

What really won the public over, though, was its ability to let users handle routine tasks like notifications and quick replies to messages. It was a moment of irony: buy this Apple device to keep your more expensive Apple device in your pocket!

This, alongside the fitness benefits, justified the cost of the device for at least the early-adopter market. The price -- $349 or $399 for the two aluminum sizes, and $549 or $599 for the stainless steel models -- was higher than previous competitors, but the added benefits justified the expense.

Man answering a phone call on his Apple Watch while in a pool



The Apple Vision Pro, on the other hand, is a single product -- with some accessories. It's currently perceived as being expensive compared to most other mainstream Apple products.

For some, however, the Vision Pro's trick of combining the Apple computing experience with its alternate function as a extremely high-resolution immersive entertainment device makes the purchase feasible. Its not just a computer, its a room-sized smart TV with a spatial-audio sound system, and more.

Some early adopters have also reported a significant boost in focus and productivity using the Apple Vision Pro. There is, of course, the near-universal opinion of adopters that you still need a physical keyboard -- and a Mac -- for the best "work" experience.

The next generation



After the initial product debut and a significant software update to address some initial speed concerns, the next versions of the Apple Watch arrived a year and a half after the first gen. The Series 1 and 2 were released simultaneously, sporting watchOS 3.0 and a new S2 processor.

The Series 1 was a budget model, with no GPS and similar to the first-gen Watch. The Series 2 offered GPS, a brighter display, water resistance, and a choice of casings -- including a new ceramic case.

Although the Apple Vision Pro did not have to wait nearly as long for its first significant software revision, like the Apple Watch it was mostly a bug-fix update to address initial concerns.

As with the first Apple Watch, we think it may be a while before Apple releases a "next gen" version of the Vision Pro. While it is impossible to be sure, we would also not be surprised if the next major hardware release splits the Vision Pro line to introduce a lower-priced "budget" model alongside an updated "Pro."

If there were to be a lower-priced model, it would certainly be both lighter and lacking some of the premium features of the Pro version. This could all happen as soon as next year -- and if it does, Apple might move the next debut to the fall, ahead of the holiday season as it has with its most popular products.

A picture of glasses looking at a city area with icons and directions in the lenses
Probably not what a future "glasses" type product would look like

The future



If we look to the Apple Watch as a guide, following that initial 18-month gap, a new series of Apple Watch has come every fall ever since. The Apple Watch series 10, or "X" as it may end up being called, is expected for this September.

The current Apple Vision Pro will not be standing still in terms of improvements, just as the original Apple Watch didn't. Further software updates are expected, and some of those changes are likely to be unveiled in June at Apple's WWDC event ahead of a fall hardware release.

Because of the engineering involved and relatively high cost for the Vision Pro, new models will likely not follow the annual hardware change pattern of the Apple Watch. We'd predict that the Pro model, at least, would get new models every other year.

If Apple can produce a "glasses" type device in the near future, such a product could offer an opportunity for roughly annual updates of hardware to reflect new styles as well as new technologies. The future for the Apple Vision line is so bright, we might have to wear Apple Shades.



Read on AppleInsider

ssfe11jas99

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,006member
    As with every Apple device, purchasers of the Vision Pro will get new features via free software updates. That’s a paradigm that seems a given now, but that was largely introduced with the iPhone. OS updates used to come with a stiff price tag. 

    Likewise as with every Apple device, later iterations of the hardware will include capabilities that may or may not have even been on the drawing board when the original model was released. Use cases evolve with related new technologies as well as with unexpected user responses to the device. 

    That’s why the naysayers should mostly be ignored, and if you can afford the ticket, why it can be fun to get onboard for the ride. 
    ssfe11jas99williamlondonStrangeDaysdanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    twolf2919twolf2919 Posts: 110member
    The author didn't really make a case at all.  I still don't know how how the AVP is supposed to be similar to the AW.   In the case of AW, Apple merely changed the "positioning" - i.e. the marketing - of the watch.  But the watch always had a decent price point and a decent set of hardware features that were well integrated with the iPhone.  The AVP needs way more than a change of marketing to succeed.   First and foremost, it needs to cost 1/3 of what it goes for now.  It needs to lose that atrocious battery appendage and chord.  It needs to let its wearer blend into the crowd rather than make them look like complete dorks.  In other words, it needs to become something completely different to become a mass market (and business) success for Apple- the AR glasses Tim Cook originally promised 3-4 years ago!  Or the AVP will always remain a niche product.
    edited March 28 williamlondonForumPost
  • Reply 3 of 11
    ssfe11ssfe11 Posts: 21member
    If social media is any sort of indicator then AVP is a hit. FB AVP groups are growing with members joining at a robust pace. Some groups from 1k at launch on Feb 2 to now 41k. Many other groups growing as well. A majority of the reviews are that “I now cannot  see my life without Vision Pro in it.” So many travel usage reviews saying how it’s a game changer and they will never ever travel again without their Vision Pro. Based on social media interest and reviews things seem to be looking very positive for Vision Pro
    jas99williamlondonForumPostwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    ciacia Posts: 252member
    I loved the AVP, I just didn't love the price and returned it.  It was hands down the best media consumption device I've ever used though.
    jas99grandact73
  • Reply 5 of 11
    omasouomasou Posts: 572member
    I have an AVP and I am not convinced, yet that AR is worth wearing something like an AVP.

    Like the watch, I would prefer a set of AR glasses that projects and or enhances things that I see. Similar to how the BMW Motorrad Connect Glasses ad heads-up display to my riding. https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/article/detail/T0422978EN_US/bmw-motorrad-presents-connectedride-smartglasses?language=en_US

    I could imagine Apple AR glasses that add CarPlay heads-up display while driving or similar to the watch notifications, etc.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 574member
    I disagree that the price is too high.   The tech needed to achieve the high resolution is state of the art and pricing will come down with volume.   As I've detailed on this forum before the current price is about what I had paid for my first Apple II in 1978 - inflation adjusted.

    As a first day VP user the primary use today is as a media device (as described in the article).   The two things Apple needs to do NOW are to include AppleTV app and provide for more access of file (I/O).  The only way now is via Files (iCould) and airdrop (which I have found to be inconsistent).  The developers dongle is only USB2 (speed constrained) - WTF?

    The number and quality of new apps gets better every day, there is a first generation version of Google Maps (Spatial Earth) for example.  

    This is a game changing device that will be the future of computing.   Everyone who tries one can see and they get this.   Apple needs to move quickly to provide high quality content (IMAX and AppleTV app) while it provides more I/O options for development programing.

    As for a comparison to the Apple Watch - they are the only two "new" device platforms that Apple has created over the last 15 years.
    ssfe11StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    AVP is very "Apple-unlike". 
    My sister bought one and used it for some days. Now, it is just somewhere in her house.

    I wore it. I tried to watch a movie. The battery is an issue. It is still heavy. After 30 minutes, it hurts. It felt like I wore a very tight facial bandage. The AVP left a heavy mark on my face. 

    Why it is very "Apple-unlike"?? 
    Simple to answer this question: It is not user-friendly. 

    I think Apple did not intend to launch AVP in Feb. 2024. But the stock market gave a pressure to Apple "to do something". 

    I see a lot of potentials for VR/AR world, but It must be light, It must wear comfortable even after 5 hours. Battery is also an issue. 

    I consider AVP as an over-engineering piece, that nobody needs as of today (to be fair: AVP is used to be a device for developers at first). 

    Apple rather starts with something, which is a "light device" like ring. 
    The AR/VR challenge seemed to be too much and too big for Apple themselves
  • Reply 8 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,294member
    twolf2919 said:
    I still don't know how the AVP is supposed to be similar to the AW.
    You should probably try re-reading the headline. It’s about how the product will EVOLVE similarly to the Apple Watch, not how it is SIMILAR to an Apple Watch. Words mean things.

    The word “evolve” in this case refers to the development stages. This is a product that, when it first came out, really pushed the industry forward in a new way that was interesting to the public, but had some shortcomings that pretty much anyone paying attention could recognise. It was called — wait for it — the Apple Watch.

    It took a year and a half for Apple to address those initial concerns, but it did with the next versions — a similarly priced model and a cheaper model — and then continued to iterate on it in subsequent versions.

    This is likely the same path the AVP will take. In the article, the possibility of a  second product in the line that is cheaper, less full-featured but lighter — is conjectured for the next major revision. Just as what happened with the Apple Watch with the Series 1 and 2.

    Hope that clears things up for you.
    muthuk_vanalingamdanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,877member
    twolf2919 said:
    The author didn't really make a case at all.  I still don't know how how the AVP is supposed to be similar to the AW.   In the case of AW, Apple merely changed the "positioning" - i.e. the marketing - of the watch.  But the watch always had a decent price point and a decent set of hardware features that were well integrated with the iPhone.  The AVP needs way more than a change of marketing to succeed.   First and foremost, it needs to cost 1/3 of what it goes for now.  It needs to lose that atrocious battery appendage and chord.  It needs to let its wearer blend into the crowd rather than make them look like complete dorks.  In other words, it needs to become something completely different to become a mass market (and business) success for Apple- the AR glasses Tim Cook originally promised 3-4 years ago!  Or the AVP will always remain a niche product.
    You have a complete misunderstanding of the product. It’s not something to wear when trying to “blend into the crowd”. It’s for indoor use, tho the battery is nice for mobility within. 

    Nobody promised AR glasses, citation needed. 

    The original Macintosh was over twice the price at $7000+ when corrects for inflation. 

    Don’t quit your day job. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,877member
    AVP is very "Apple-unlike". 
    My sister bought one and used it for some days. Now, it is just somewhere in her house.

    I wore it. I tried to watch a movie. The battery is an issue. It is still heavy. After 30 minutes, it hurts. It felt like I wore a very tight facial bandage. The AVP left a heavy mark on my face. 

    Why it is very "Apple-unlike"?? 
    Simple to answer this question: It is not user-friendly. 

    I think Apple did not intend to launch AVP in Feb. 2024. But the stock market gave a pressure to Apple "to do something". 

    I see a lot of potentials for VR/AR world, but It must be light, It must wear comfortable even after 5 hours. Battery is also an issue. 

    I consider AVP as an over-engineering piece, that nobody needs as of today (to be fair: AVP is used to be a device for developers at first). 

    Apple rather starts with something, which is a "light device" like ring. 
    The AR/VR challenge seemed to be too much and too big for Apple themselves
    Your sister bought an AVP and now doesn’t even know where it is? Yeah cool story bro. 

    Even were that true, an AVP sized for your sister isn’t (surprise) sized for you. 

    —————— 

    So many comments of the “why isn’t this like a pair of glasses!”. Yeah dudes —no duh, everybody would love that. Not. Yet. Possible. Of course we’re moving in that direction, but it’s crawl-walk-ru. Get real. 
    williamlondondanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,849member
    AVP is very "Apple-unlike". 
    My sister bought one and used it for some days. Now, it is just somewhere in her house.

    I wore it. I tried to watch a movie. The battery is an issue. It is still heavy. After 30 minutes, it hurts. It felt like I wore a very tight facial bandage. The AVP left a heavy mark on my face. 

    Why it is very "Apple-unlike"?? 
    Simple to answer this question: It is not user-friendly. 

    I think Apple did not intend to launch AVP in Feb. 2024. But the stock market gave a pressure to Apple "to do something". 

    I see a lot of potentials for VR/AR world, but It must be light, It must wear comfortable even after 5 hours. Battery is also an issue. 

    I consider AVP as an over-engineering piece, that nobody needs as of today (to be fair: AVP is used to be a device for developers at first). 

    Apple rather starts with something, which is a "light device" like ring. 
    The AR/VR challenge seemed to be too much and too big for Apple themselves
    Your sister bought an AVP and now doesn’t even know where it is? Yeah cool story bro. 

    Even were that true, an AVP sized for your sister isn’t (surprise) sized for you. 

    —————— 

    So many comments of the “why isn’t this like a pair of glasses!”. Yeah dudes —no duh, everybody would love that. Not. Yet. Possible. Of course we’re moving in that direction, but it’s crawl-walk-ru. Get real. 

     When people say “why isn’t this like a pair of glasses!” on the Appleinsider site or any Apple focused site for that matter what they mean is that they troll for Meta or Google, Apple unlike most other tech companies will get to that (glasses) by long slow iteration thru time not much different than anything else Apple has done in the last 25 years and their progress will be a masterclass in how to get there. While Apples competition sulks and cry to government for help when Apple arrives and takes no prisoners.
    watto_cobra
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