Apple Vision Pro is the world’s introduction to spatial computing. It’s a stunningly designed, extremely powerful gadget that is far superior to any other VR or mixed-reality device, I’d say. And I’d also say that whatever your expectations, when you actually try out the headset, it far exceeds them.
But it looks like the Vision Pro may have a sting in the tail when it comes to pricing. Apple says it costs from $3,499. That sounds like a lot, and is indeed more than anyone had rumored before the launch. I believe that though it’s definitely expensive, it’s probably good value, given how powerful and effective it is. Think of it this way: it’s exactly half the price of the new Mac Pro. In other words, it needs to be thought of as a computer, not the VR headset other companies are making.
However, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has now tweeted that many people will have to set extra money aside to buy the Vision Pro. That’s because there’s no room for wearing glasses under the headset, so those who wear specs have to find a different way to be able to see the microOLED displays in perfect clarity.
This is achieved by prescription lenses which sit in front of each eye. They attach magnetically to the Vision Pro, Apple has said, but it has not given any clue about pricing.
Gurman says it could be between $300 or $600 a pair, unless Apple subsidizes this by “eating part of the cost”.
If he’s right, that could take the price of Vision Pro to over $4,000, even before you add other accessories or extra storage (if such a customization is possible, Apple hasn’t said).
So, how likely is this? I don’t think it’s quite right.
Well, Gurman at least admits it’s only a guess, and doesn’t seem to have any supply chain information to back this up. Well, it’s true that it would be unlikely that Apple would ensure lenses designed for its headset would be cheaper than for, say, Meta Quest Pro or PlayStation VR 2.
However, as William Gallagher at Apple Insider points out, lenses for those other headsets cost way less than this. “Zeiss already produces prescription lenses for use with other VR headsets, and they cost around $70.” As far as I can tell, that price is for a pair.
And one tweeter reckons it’s not going to cost anything like that, saying, “So a fair estimate for the Apple VR headset would be about $150 since they’re not made from ground up unicorn horns.”
I mean, there’s no clarity at this point whether unicorn horns are part of the deal—this is Apple, after all—but, okay, let’s work on the principle that they’re not.
If the eyes-on sessions Apple has been holding are like the Apple Store experience, it may be that they’ll have an optometrist on site, who will read your glasses prescription and select the right lenses for you. Apple has said it can cater to almost all eyes.
These are details that will become clearer in the run-up to the headset’s launch. But specs wearers can expect an extra cost, however big or small that might be.
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