Apple is reportedly working on AR glasses and a cheaper Vision headset

A cheaper Apple Vision headset is expected to be available in 2025, but we could be waiting a while longer for the AR glasses.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Vision Pro display at Apple Park WWDC 2024
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Less than a year after its debut, Apple might be realizing that people don't want a Vision Pro. According to a report from The Information, the company has told suppliers that it's no longer working on a Vision Pro successor, instead pivoting towards a cheaper AR/VR headset set for a 2025 release.

The high-end Vision Pro headset debuted in February 2024, and while it received mostly positive reviews, it had its flaws, not to mention a $3,499 base price tag ($4,800 if you buy the maxed-out version).

The new AR/VR headset would keep the high-resolution display, The Information said, but would cut other components. One goal is to make the new headset at least 33% lighter. Indeed, ZDNET Editor in Chief Jason Hiner specifically called out weight as needing improvement when the headset debuted.  

Also: Apple Vision Pro FAQ: Price, features, hands-on insights, and everything you need to know

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Apple has considered a cheaper headset in the price range of $1,500 to $2,500. In addition, Bloomberg noted that Apple has "renewed efforts" to develop its own AR glasses. Mark Gurman wrote that "a launch date around 2027 has been bandied about," but he added that nobody at Apple believed that was a realistic target. 

Gurman said part of the problem is that Apple has pulled staff from the glasses project to work on the cheaper AR/VR headset. Another problem is that building smart glasses requires designing for a very small shell, and packing a lot of technology into glasses frames isn't exactly easy.

Apple smart glasses have reportedly been in the works for several years now, with the project starting and stopping several times. Meta has pulled off the idea reasonably well with its recent Ray Ban smart glasses, so there's no reason Apple shouldn't be able to as well.

If the Vision Pro didn't succeed like Apple had hoped, could cheaper versions also not find an audience? If so, Apple could decide that mixed reality isn't worth the effort.

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