Apple Vision Pro may take 4 generations to reach ‘ideal state’ — but could replace the iPad

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Apple Vision Pro headset is an impressive device, there’s no denying that, but it's far from perfect. There are a bunch of issues to contend with, and we’re not just talking about the high price tag. Those problems should go away with each subsequent generation, but unfortunately it may take four generations for the Vision headsets to reach “ideal form”.

Writing in the latest version of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that Apple’s Vision team feels there’s still a lot of work to be done. The eventual goal being to refine the headset enough that customers want to use the headset every single day.

It’s not entirely clear what this “ideal form” might be, but some early complaints about the Vision Pro could provide invaluable feedback for Apple designers and engineers. One of the biggest concerns we had in our Apple Vision Pro review was the tethered battery, and how annoying it can be. 

No doubt there are plans to ensure some future headset gets an integrated battery pack — though it will rely on the headset shedding a bit more excess weight. The Vision Pro may only weigh between 21.9 and 22.9 ounces, but users have reported that the weight feels a lot more obvious with extended use. Sadly that may just be a fact of using mixed reality headsets right now.

Gurman believes that Apple is positioning the Vision Pro as a future iPad replacement. Much like how Apple tried to market the iPad as a productivity-centric replacement for the MacBook, but with limited success. Gurman notes that Apple’s tablet has “lost its original purpose and has become a more confusing piece of Apple’s product portfolio”.

I’m inclined to agree there. Tablets on their own have never made much sense to me, and my own iPad is generally used as either a secondary streaming device or quick access to my home security camera feeds. Occasionally it’ll spend some time as an e-reader or digital notepad, but that doesn’t happen all that often.

iPad 2022 display

(Image credit: Future)

Gurman believes that the Apple Vision Pro and its successors will need a lot to take on the iPad — though he says it does offer a far better experience than the tablet. That means it’ll need new hardware and software upgrades, plus better support from app developers and content creators. Until that happens, Gurman says the Vision Pro is “essentially a prototype”. Albeit one you need to pay three and a half grand to try.

It’s unclear how long four generations of Apple Vision products may take to arrive, especially given how long we were waiting for the Vision Pro. So if you’re not ready to try one yet, you may have a long wait ahead of you.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • Predtek
    This is non sense. What Apple need is a folding iPad and Phone. A VR Goggles is not what used to replace the need for folding devices.