With a hefty price tag, don't expect Apple’s new augmented reality headset to become a mass market product anytime soon.

Jeffrey Schwartz

June 6, 2023

6 Slides

Despite introducing three new Macs and revealing new features coming to its four operating systems this fall, the new Apple Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) headset and platform overshadowed the near-term deliverables.

2023-06-05-87.jpgApple unveiled the new AR headset on Monday kicking off its weeklong Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) at its Cupertino, California, campus. But the staggering $3,499 starting price and the fact it won’t ship until next year took the wind out of the sails of any partners or investors expecting an announcement with more near-term potential.

For its part, Apple Vision Pro marks its first new computing device and platform since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2014. Apple is not the first to launch an AR headset. Meta, Microsoft and Lenovo are among those that offer headsets. Apple’s own view of AR is that it’s creating a market that brings spatial computing to the forefront.

“The same way that Mac introduced us to personal computing, and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro will introduce us to spatial computing,” Apple CEO said in his WWDC keynote. “This marks the beginning of a journey that will bring a new dimension to powerful personal technology.”

Apple Vision Pro Sticker Shock

Nevertheless, enthusiasm was muted when Apple revealed it will ship early next year, and the $3,499 starting price, significantly higher than Meta’s popular Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality headset or even the Lenovo ThinkReality VRX, which shipped last week and starts at $1,299.

Indeed, those who attended the launch were impressed with Apple Vision Pro. Among them was industry analyst Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research. O’Donnell said he spent 25 minutes with it.


Techanalysis’ Bob O’Donnell

“Vision Pro’s extremely high-resolution display along with its natural user interface let you see and manipulate digital content of all types in the space in front of you,” O’Donnell wrote. “Practically speaking, that means it functions like a virtual monitor onto which you can place everything from traditional iOS apps to applications running on your Mac to immersive photos, videos and more.”

BakerAvenue Wealth management chief strategist King Lip wasn’t as impressed. Lip told CNBC: “If I look at prior product launches — the AirPods or the iWatch [Apple Watch], those were clear innovation for the masses where earnings growth and revenue soared on those devices. But with a device priced at $3,500, as great as it is, I’m not certain that this is innovation for the masses, but rather more perhaps a novelty toy for the privileged.”

More on the design of the Apple Vision Pro appears in the slideshow above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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