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You can get an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and a Mac for the price of one Vision Pro

I can't share the headset with my wife? Here's why the Vision Pro's price tag is making even avid Apple fans think twice.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

Ever since Apple announced that it would accept pre-orders for the Vision Pro headset on January 19, I have been agonizing over whether or not I should get one. After quite a lot of thought and a long discussion with my wife, it has been decided that I will not be purchasing one -- at least not for now.

Also: This ultraportable VR headset gave me a taste of Vision Pro at a fraction of the cost

A big part of the decision was the price. At $3,400, it's amazingly expensive, especially since I was able to buy a Meta Quest 3 headset for $650 (I paid an extra $150 for double storage on the Quest).

I'm still not sure what value the Vision Pro offers me, other than being able to write about it.  As my wife pointed out, we have a roof that needs urgent repairs (and budget dollars). It's not like I need a Vision Pro to watch movies. I already have a very nice TCL 65 inch Roku TVfor that.

I am having a hard time getting my head around the Vision Pro cost. For me, it would be an additional $150 for prescription lenses, bringing the price to $3,550. And since Apple is very clear that it needs to size the device to individual faces, it's unlikely I'd be able to conveniently share the headset with my wife, who is also an avid Apple ecosystem participant.

Speaking of the Apple ecosystem, let's break down what it would cost to own one of each category of products Apple offers (not counting the Vision Pro). As the table below shows, I could buy an iPhone, an iPad, a Mac, and an Apple Watch for $1,756.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

So, let's see what happens if I add in some AirPods, a Quest 3, and even a 65" TV. Here goes:

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

It does start to add up, but let's see what happens if I swap out the non-Apple gear and go for stuff that's not at the very bottom of the Apple price list. Here's the no-compromise list of Apple gear:

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

As you can see, even with no-compromise gear, including a MacBook Air, an iPad Pro, the 2nd Generation AirPods Pro, an iPhone 15, and an Apple Watch Series 9, we're still under the entry cost of a Vision Pro headset.

There is value for some folks in buying the Vision Pro. Developers, most certainly. Some folks who work in certain industries, especially as custom apps start coming online. Those who just don't have the space for a big screen or multiple monitors.

Also: The best VR headsets right now (and they're not just from Meta)

But the rest of us? That's a tough leap to make, especially when so much else (my roofer, for example) is competing for our hard-earned money. After using the Quest 3 for a few weeks, I have no doubt there's a use case for mixed-reality headsets. But I just don't see -- yet -- how the Vision Pro adds $3,000 more in value over the Quest 3, and how it will be worth it to the majority of Apple users out there.

When it hits $1,099, then it will be compelling.

But I'm not you. Are you considering buying a Vision Pro? What do you intend to use it for? Are you planning on making apps for it? To do what? Let me know in the comments below.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly update newsletter on Substack, and follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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