Apple’s recent announcement of its new mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro, has ignited a significant debate within the tech community. The headset’s cutting-edge capabilities are undeniably impressive, but the question on everyone’s mind is whether it’s worth the steep $3499 price tag.
For a deep dive into this topic, check out the engaging debate between Mic Ty and Vineet Devaiah, the CEO of TeliportMe
Here’s a quick overview of the Vision Pro’s specifications to give you some context for the debate:
- Spatial computing capabilities
- EyeSight feature that displays your eyes on the outside of the headset
- Supports game controllers
- Can connect to your Mac
- Includes a brand-new App Store
- Built-in LiDAR scanner
- Compatibility with iPhone and iPad apps
- Over 100 Apple Arcade titles available on day one
- Disney Plus available on day one
- Ability to watch 3D movies
- The screen can be resized and displayed on different backgrounds
- Can show digital elements like icons and windows floating over real-world spaces
- Can input text by looking at a search field and starting to talk
- Can display things like a Safari window, Messages, and Apple Music window all hovering over a table in the real world
- Can display a keyboard hovering in midair
- Can make the Mac’s screen appear within the headset
- Can display your eyes on the outside of the headset
- Will have a brand-new App Store
Price: A Potential Stumbling Block
Despite the impressive features, the $3,499 price tag is giving many potential buyers pause. This pricing situates the Vision Pro at the apex of the AR/VR headset market, significantly outpacing its competitors.
Apple’s pricing strategy has traditionally targeted the premium segment of the market. Yet, the Vision Pro takes this a step further. This raises the question of the target audience for the device. While developers, professionals who could leverage the AR features, or Apple enthusiasts might be willing to bear the cost, the average consumer might find it difficult to justify such a hefty investment for a technology that’s yet to fully penetrate the mainstream market.
Timing and Competition
The release date, set for next year, is another important consideration. In the tech world, a year can bring about significant shifts. New technologies could emerge, competitors might introduce more affordable alternatives, and consumer preferences could change.
Furthermore, Oculus’s Quest 3, priced at just $500, already offers a mature platform with an extensive app ecosystem. If Apple takes 2-3 years to achieve a comparable consumer-grade product, the Quest 3 (or its successors) might be far ahead, offering a more compelling value proposition.
After you’ve watched the debate, you’ll likely agree that while the Vision Pro is a technical marvel, its price tag is hard to swallow for the average consumer. Furthermore, the headset won’t be available until next year, which might give competitors like the Quest 3 from Facebook’s Meta a significant head start.
The success of a device like this doesn’t solely rest on the hardware; it’s also about the ecosystem of apps and content that can be accessed through it. While Apple has announced partnerships with Disney and a variety of Apple Arcade titles, we still don’t know how extensive and diverse the Vision Pro’s application library will be at launch and beyond.
In comparison, the Quest 3, priced at just around $500, has already established a robust ecosystem of apps and games. By the time the Vision Pro hits the market, the Quest 3 may have advanced even further. As much as we admire the Vision Pro’s specs, we have to question if it’s worth the wait and the cost for the everyday user.
Editor’s note: For another take on the Apple Vision Pro, here’s why I think it will be bigger than iPhone.
What do you think ? If you’d like to join others in discussing the Vision Pro, check out this Facebook group.