Apple Vision Pro sequel stalls as work on cheaper consumer headset continues

Posted:
in Apple Vision Pro edited June 18

Apple's follow-up to the Apple Vision Pro may not be a high-end model, with work allegedly halted on the premium replacement in favor of a cheaper alternative.

Close-up of a sleek, black and white virtual reality headset with multiple cameras and smooth surface reflections.
Apple Vision Pro



Half a year after the release of the Apple Vision Pro, Apple is considering what its follow-up release could be. The next one may not be a full successor to the Apple Vision Pro, but it could end up being a more consumer-focused version.

According to a report from The Information, Apple has told at least one supplier that work on the next high-end version of the Vision Pro has stalled. This is allegedly in response to slowing sales of the premium headset.

As usual for Apple, it is anticipated that it has been working on multiple headsets. The report source says that work is still ongoing on the cheaper consumer-grade version of the Vision headset.

With fewer features and lower specifications, the source believes that it could ship before the end of 2025.

N109



The lower-priced Vision headset has an internal codename of N109, with a potential price hovering around $1,600 if it is eventually released.

To cut costs, Apple will be seeking to replace components with cheaper versions. For example, the internal displays could use a lower resolution, and fewer cameras could be used on the outside as sensors.

The chip may change to slower processors. The automatic initial focus setup may also disappear in favor of a manual version, as Apple tries to reduce the weight by up to a third.

Tuesday's report source said that Apple still wasn't equipped with a firm prototype for N109. While it could ship by 2025, it's thought that the product could ship later, possibly into 2026.

Part of this is due to supply chain issues, the report continued. In one case, display maker Seeya Technology apparently struggled to meet Apple's standards for production, prompting changes in a key component for the headset.

Rumor Score: Possible

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    ssfe11ssfe11 Posts: 50member
    Sounds great. A more affordable version seems like a win win. Just like iPhone have a high end and a low end. 
    jas99Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 29
    humbug1873humbug1873 Posts: 144member
    I just don't get it. OK Apple has the first time used the AI moniker wow big deal.
    Who was the first to equip all it's (major compute) hardware with AI support in Hardware!? Apple.
    Who has been continouusly implemented features once they are ready for prime time, privacy and are actually useful? Apple.
    Who has for years an in house team for AI? Apple (yes okay and others).

    Who is surprised!? Those braindead MBAs that just don't get that ML is an AI technique.

    But hey as a stock holder I'm good.

    ssfe11williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    I find it hard to believe that Apple thought that this first version would sell like gangbusters. They MUST have people connected to the real world who realize a $3,500 toy is off limits to the majority of the population. So I take it they went the Mercedes route - knowing they would sell less (Than Ford), but still have a good idea of how many would sell. Now the bigger question is - does anyone care about goggle based VR? And having tried them out for many years, I suspect it's a really tough sell to the vast majority of people. And the device rather quickly becomes an afterthought.  But hey, I'm open to being wrong here. I don't know. But my guess is Apple MUST have had a pretty solid idea on sales and that the 'shifting' to a cheaper set isn't a sudden thing, but part of the plan. 
    jas99CrossPlatformFroggerStrangeDaysssfe11MisterKitwilliamlondoniOS_Guy80watto_cobraradarthekatAlex1N
  • Reply 4 of 29
    Personally I would like to see a product like this modified to assist people who are blind. Get rid of all the displays but keep all the cameras and other sensors that can be used to ascertain the person’s surroundings and find a way to give that person audible feedback.
    VictorMortimerwilliamlondonwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 5 of 29
    omasouomasou Posts: 606member
    So I have a VisionPro and I don't really see a less expensive and less capable VR headset as a want. It will still have the same problems of weight, comfort, isolation, etc.

    I would really like a set AR glasses.
    edited June 18 watto_cobraAlex1N9secondkox2jas99
  • Reply 6 of 29
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,955member
    Personally I would like to see a product like this modified to assist people who are blind. Get rid of all the displays but keep all the cameras and other sensors that can be used to ascertain the person’s surroundings and find a way to give that person audible feedback.
    sounds like a great accessibility device but doesn’t sound like Apple’s market (mass market CE). Hopefully one of the medical device companies gets inspired. 
    watto_cobraAlex1Nmikethemartian
  • Reply 7 of 29
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 851member
    Ever use the word cheap or cheaper when describing Apple devices less expensive is the appropriate term.
    williamlondonMisterKitwatto_cobraAlex1Njas99
  • Reply 8 of 29
    Lowering the resolution isn’t going to happen. That doesn’t make any sense relative to their commitment to Retina level displays throughout their product lines.
    williamlondonMisterKitwatto_cobraAlex1Nfastasleepbeowulfschmidt7omromasou
  • Reply 9 of 29
    It's stalled because AVP is a flop and no one is buying it like everyone predicted.
    VictorMortimerwilliamlondonDAalsethCrossPlatformFrogger
  • Reply 10 of 29
    ssfe11ssfe11 Posts: 50member
    I wonder if all of the Fortune 100 companies are now utilizing Vision Pro instead of the more than half that Tim said were during the earnings call? 
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 11 of 29
    ssfe11 said:
    I wonder if all of the Fortune 100 companies are now utilizing Vision Pro instead of the more than half that Tim said were during the earnings call? 
    You know fortune 100 companies are really big, right?

    "Fortune 100 companies are now utilizing" means they've bought one.  Somebody in the C-suite bought one on the company credit card for their kids to play with, Apple counts it as "utilizing".
    DAalsethgrandact73elijahg
  • Reply 12 of 29
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,332member
    Vision Pro has only been out since February so how is that 6 months?

    Apple understands that they aren’t selling this device as well as anything else that is a consumer based product. I doubt they thought it would sell better than it has. It’s only been like 4 months since it came out and now there are more countries that can demo and purchase it. 

    watto_cobraslow n easyAlex1Njas99
  • Reply 13 of 29
    ssfe11 said:
    Sounds great. A more affordable version seems like a win win. Just like iPhone have a high end and a low end. 
    I guess so. I know that I wouldn’t want one. I didn’t buy the current version because it’s not good enough, not because it’s too expensive.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 29
    I find it hard to believe that Apple thought that this first version would sell like gangbusters. They MUST have people connected to the real world who realize a $3,500 toy is off limits to the majority of the population. So I take it they went the Mercedes route - knowing they would sell less (Than Ford), but still have a good idea of how many would sell. Now the bigger question is - does anyone care about goggle based VR? And having tried them out for many years, I suspect it's a really tough sell to the vast majority of people. And the device rather quickly becomes an afterthought.  But hey, I'm open to being wrong here. I don't know. But my guess is Apple MUST have had a pretty solid idea on sales and that the 'shifting' to a cheaper set isn't a sudden thing, but part of the plan. 
    I’m not sure why you even had that thought. Of course Apple didn’t think that it was going to sell like gangbusters. This product was never marketed as a mass produced product that many millions of people would buy. It was mainly marketed to developers so that when they did have a mainstream product, there would already be an ecosystem in place for it.
    Alex1Njas99williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 29
    omasou said:
    So I have a VisionPro and I don't really see a less expensive and less capable VR headset as a want. It will still have the same problems of weight, comfort, isolation, etc.

    I would really like a set AR glasses.
    I would definitely not want AR glasses. If I had the Apple Vision Pro, I would not be using it in AR mode, I would be using it in VR mode because that is what I’m most interested in. VR can’t work with glasses because it would not be possible to seal out the light.
    9secondkox2williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 29
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,096member
    One country release 4 months ago so far? The runway for the Apple Vision will be the same as the Apple Watch
    jas99williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 29
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,013member
    The real market for this is the vertical market.  Like AR assisted surgeries and other medical uses as well as non medical vertical markets.   They showed Stryker’s initial foray and I’m sure there are others in the medical sphere.  Those solutions go slowly as actual surgery and other solutions have to be approved by the FDA and other countries’ equivalents and there is a ton of certifications that need to be done and tons of paperwork for that and it’s a slow process.  There are medical uses that aren’t direct patient facing / patient affecting that won’t require the approvals and we’ll see those first. AR assisted planning and stuff that’s mit real time patient procedure based.  That sort of thing. I’m pretty sure the Stryker thing shown is like that.  

    Vertical markets will take a while to develop but that’s where AV/AVP will shine.  

    For the average person it’s a toy and novelty.  That will quickly wear off.   General  Spatial computing is a solution looking for a problem in the general populace.  It will never be big like the iPhone and Apple Watch and iPad and that sort of thing.  

    But in real estate, interior design, various engineering and sales, and the above mentioned medical and probably many other vertical markets you’ll see lots of cool innovations and uses that make sense.  
    9secondkox2muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 29
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,902member
    No one cares about digital scuba gear outside of a niche group. 

    Make it into a pair of sunglasses, sell at $999 and watch it y off the proverbial shelves. 
  • Reply 19 of 29
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,447member
    Now the bigger question is - does anyone care about goggle based VR? 
    Sure. However, this isn't really marketed as a VR-forward device, at least not yet, and maybe it never will be. The AR, "spatial computing", and media consumption aspects are kinda being put to the forefront. That limits the audience for this headset quite a bit, at least for now. Immersive applications like VR gaming or other fully-immersive experiences are just not present here. I was hoping to see No Man's Sky or a Resident Evil in full VR on this thing, so far there's nothing close.

    A couple likely factors for that:
    • The M2 is perhaps too limited as far as GPU performance for high res, high frame rates required for these displays
    • Lack of controllers — big negative here compared to every other VR platform. Hand recognition is cool but a lot of gaming is going to require dedicated controllers. I'm not sure if Apple is going to do that, which would be a miss unfortunately.
    The other use case I was hoping to see but have not is being able to tether (wired or not) to the Mac and use it as a VR headset for it, utilizing the Mac's processor, both for games but also for 3D/VR content development. Remember when macOS had VR support back in like at the 2017 WWDC (I think) with the iMac Pro and the Vive? I think Final Cut Pro still has VR headset stuff in the menus. As a content developer, I was really hoping to see the ability to work in VR in Unity/Unreal Engine and 180 degree 3D in FCP, etc. Nope.

    Or how about visiting and walking around a city in Maps VR. That's definitely gotta be coming at some point.

    I know they are shooting for AR glasses in the long run, but VR is a different beast altogether. The AVP is really in the middle of the road here, but has a lot of potential.
    edited June 18
  • Reply 20 of 29
    No brainer for Apple to go all out developing AVP into a tiered product line-up. They could definitely leverage some of that mind blowing tech into an accessible money spinner for a few years while the flagship AVP model evolves into a slimmer product. A lower entry point would be a great drawcard for game developers… Can’t wait! 
    edited June 19 jas99
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