Someone just found a funny surprise hidden inside the Apple Vision Pro headset

Apple Vision Pro battery pack
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Apple Vision Pro launches tomorrow, but its secrets are still being uncovered by intrepid users. This time, it turns out that the battery pack uses a suspiciously familiar-looking cable connector that everyone believed was on its last legs.

This particular surprise was discovered by Inverse journalist Ray Wong. According to a post by Wong on X (formerly Twitter), if you push a SIM card remover tool into a small hole on the Vision Pro’s battery pack, the cable pops out – revealing what looks like a bulked-up Lightning connector.

In case you missed it, Apple has been phasing out the Lightning cable from its devices in place of USB-C after the European Union (EU) forced the company’s hand in an attempt to open up Apple’s closed-off ecosystem. Getting a Lightning cable on a brand-new device like the Vision Pro was probably the last thing most of us expected to see.

The connector from the Apple Vision Pro's battery, next to the battery itself and a SIM card remover tool.

(Image credit: Ray Wong)

That said, it’s not quite the Lightning of old. Whereas the standard Lightning connector came with eight pins, the Vision Pro edition is a wider 12-pin affair, like if the Lightning cable had been hitting the gym in anticipation of its EU showdown. We all thought the standard eight-pin version was on the way out, but it turns out that wasn’t even its final form.

Back from the dead

The connector from the Apple Vision Pro's battery compared to a standard Lightning connector.

(Image credit: Ray Wong)

In one way, this might look like another case of Apple’s “malicious compliance” after the company drew up controversial third-party app store rules to comply with EU legislation. In the case of the Vision Pro, rather than using something more standard like USB-C for the headset’s battery pack, Apple went out and designed an entirely new proprietary connector that no other external battery will be able to plug in to.

Of course, we don’t know if that’s Apple’s actual motivation. And it’s not entirely true that you can’t use third-party batteries with the Vision Pro – you just have to plug them into Apple’s own battery pack rather than the headset itself, creating a bulky and unwieldy daisy chain of batteries.

Still, Apple isn’t going to let anything like a little Lightning surprise spoil the Vision Pro’s big day tomorrow. The company’s Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York is dressing up for the occasion, with Apple in the process of installing a giant replica Vision Pro inside the outlet’s famous all-glass entrance (via 9to5Mac).

With the Vision Pro about to land in the hands of users across the US, we’re sure people will start to uncover many more secrets contained within the device. After all, with so much high-tech goodness packed into the headset, there are bound to be a few more unknowns lurking within – as we've discovered in our first two days with the headset.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.