Apple's Vision Pro headset hasn't even gone on sale yet, and it might not do for another year yet. But that was never going to stop Apple from working on what will follow it and now a recent report suggests that isn't just one, but two new headsets.
Unfortunately for Vision Pro hopefuls, that same report also suggests that Apple will hold back some visionOS features for when those successors are shared with the public - and worst of all, they're features that were originally penciled in for the Vision Pro's launch instead.
However, Apple appears to have chosen to delay those software features until the next found of hardware is ready, and that, among other things, could be enough to give potential buyers a reason to consider hanging fire - not that we imagine people are lining up to buy this insanely expensive device, even if it does turn out to be the best VR headset ever made.
Two is better than one
Writing in his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple has not one, but two new versions of the Vision Pro headset in development already - one of which will be a lot cheaper. Apple only announced the Vision Pro at WWDC on June 5, but it's already moved some employees from that project and onto teams that are working on what comes next in Apple's AR/VR lineup.
We noted the two new Vision Pro models previously, but the latest report from Gurman suggests that new software features will debut with those updated models, rather than the first headset - even though that one isn't even releasing until 2024.
Gurman says that Apple is working on "The ability to show multiple Mac desktop screens when connected wirelessly to a Vision Pro," whereas the first Vision Pro will only connect to a single desktop at launch. There's also the suggestion that Apple Fitness Plus will be integrated somehow, allowing headsets wearers to work out while in an AR/VR world.
Finally, Gurman says that Apple also wants to offer "the ability for multiple Vision Pro users in a several-person FaceTime conference to use Personas." The Vision Pro due to go on sale in the first half of 2024 will only allow one-on-one calls with Apple's haunting 3D avatars.
It's still too early to know when Apple will announce these new headsets of course, nor do we know how much that cheaper model will cost. We can hopefully expect to learn more as the leaks roll out in the coming months.
It's a bit disappointing that Apple will apparently be holding back some features - it's particularly odd to be hearing about it now, when the first iteration of the headset is still more than six months away from release. We'd imagine there probably is enough time for Apple to implement those features, in fact, which makes the whole thing all the more disheartening.
In other words, we're probably going to hold off on dropping $3,499 on the Vision Pro next year - at least, unless Apple confirms these features will be backward-compatible when they finally do arrive.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back.