Apple Vision Pro v1: as usual, wait a bit

Apple Vision Pro v1: as usual, wait a bit

I'm an avid user of Apple products, regularly using my Apple Watch, AirPods, MacBook, iPad, Apple TV, and HomePod Mini. Despite my enthusiasm for these products, I have reservations about Apple's approach towards developers and some App Store policies (worth an entirely separate article for another day).

Interestingly, I've never bought a first-generation Apple product. The initial version often faces significant challenges, even though initial reviews might be positive. For example, I've heard complaints about the weight and neck strain of Apple's new AR/VR headset. While I haven't tried it myself, my experience with other AR/VR headsets confirms that this discomfort is a common issue. Here's a comparison of weights for various headsets (source):

  • Vision Pro: 600–650 grams
  • Meta Quest Pro: 722 grams
  • Meta Quest 3: 515 grams
  • PlayStation VR2: 560 grams

Many reviewers highlight the enjoyment of watching movies or sports on these devices. However, it's concerning that platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify won't have apps on this device at launch. If entertainment is a key feature, Apple needs to ensure top-notch content is available. One can speculate as to why: again, developer relations aren't great for Apple and are made worse by their app store policies. This plus a relatively small opportunity of maybe ~1 million device sold in the first year (though reportedly Apple has already sold 200,000), and we have a ways to go before we see anything that could be called hitting "mainstream".

The device's potential for productivity is another point of interest, but the virtual keyboard has been reviewed as completely inadequate. While the idea of a $4,000 device for enhancing productivity is appealing, there's not enough evidence yet to justify it. Personally, I've moved away from using multiple monitors as I find it cumbersome.

Even though Apple products are known for their quality and attention to detail, they typically require real-world usage to reach their full potential. New hardware, especially, needs time to evolve. While I'd gladly accept an Apple Vision Pro as a gift, its current price of $3,499 (plus accessories) is steep for me. A price drop to around $1,000 might pique my interest more.

I'll be keeping an eye on the developments around the Apple Vision Pro this year. However, my stance on avoiding first-generation devices remains unchanged.