Apple engineers are continuing work on the future of the Vision Pro family of products before the first generation model’s release, and it appears to be more ambitious than previously let on, according to a new report from DigiTimes summarized by MacRumors.
On top of the first-generation model’s direct successor, the company is developing three other future models of the mixed-reality headset, including a more affordable model as extensively covered earlier, the report indicates.
For the entry-level model, Apple is reportedly aiming to reduce the bill of materials (BOM) by half when compared to the upcoming first-generation flagship Vision Pro. This would allow Apple to sell the product at a significantly lower price, making it more accessible to the average customer. Company officials hope to put prototypes of this device into production in the second half of 2024 ahead of a launch one year later at the earliest.
Previous reports floated potential specifications for this cheaper Vision Pro, including the removal of the EyeSight feature that displays the user’s eyes on an outer display, using lower-resolution eye displays, and replacing the M-series chip with an A-series one. Company officials were reportedly hoping these changes would put the product in the $1,500 to $2,500 price range.
Reports have been mixed about the likelihood of a cheaper model coming to a fruition. In September, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted Apple had canceled work the low-cost Vision Pro. Kuo believed Apple was having a hard time compromising on enough features to lower the price while still maintaining a good user experience.
Meanwhile, the company is also seeking to bring down costs on the fully-featured headset. Apple officials are also already communicating with supply chain partners about the second-generation and even third-generation model of the flagship product, according to a separate report released earlier today by Jiemian News. It’s not clear if this third-generation model is included in the report’s count of four models in development.
This comes ahead of the first-generation Vision Pro entering mass production in December. Apple is reportedly targeting 400,000 units for the first batch and 1 million units sold in the first year.
Beyond the second-generation and cheaper models, it’s unclear what other two Vision Pro products are in development. Perhaps these devices could be Apple’s also-long anticipated but yet unannounced AR glasses. The most recent reports on the product’s development indicated the glasses were at least four years away.
Apple Vision Pro is set to go on sale in early 2024 in the United States with a price tag of $3,499.