Apple Vision Pro 2 tipped for 2026 launch, but cheaper headset planned before that

Apple Vision Pro on table
(Image credit: Future)

Apple Vision Pro is one of the best VR/AR headsets you can buy right now, but there’s no denying that the sky high price has been divisive. The Cupertino crew has heard your outcries, but the team seems to have hit a bit of a snag.

You see, in Mark Gurman’s latest Bloomberg newsletter, he confirms that the roadmap shows the next generation Vision Pro 2 isn’t set to launch “until the end of 2026,” but there is a plan to “bring a cheaper version to market before then.” In terms of how, Apple is “flummoxed.”

The one bit of good news here is that this is actually sooner than the earlier report that Vision Pro 2 wouldn't arrive until 2027.

Apple Vision SE?

The rumor mill around a cheaper version of the headset has been rife — kicking into a high gear even before the original Vision Pro launched. Initially, it looked like an easy cost-cutting exercise, as Gurman previously reported on Apple “likely” dropping the EyeSight front display and flipping to the A-series chipset you see in iPhones.

In the same report, the price was placed at roughly the “$1500 to $2500” mark, but this more recent report suggests something has gone wrong in the company’s plan. Is it the sky high cost of those super crisp Sony 4K micro-OLED panels Apple uses? Or maybe the team doesn’t want to give up features like the EyeSight display.

Whatever the complications are, we can only hope they are ironed out. If I could make a couple of suggestions, scrap the EyeSight panel (it just looks weird), you could sacrifice some of that insanely sharp resolution and still have the top VR headset display in the market, and with the A17 Pro in the likes of the iPhone 15 Pro actually coming quite close in CPU and GPU power to M3, this is an easy replacement to make.

Seeing far into the future

But of course, Apple is planning for its future too — its distant future — with the second generation Vision Pro looking set to drop at the end of 2026.

What does this mean for specs? Nobody is sure, but to put my tin foil hat on and make some predictions, given the launch cadence of M-series chips, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this drop with an M6 chip.

On top of that, if Apple could figure out some way to incorporate the battery into the headset itself, rather than it being a giant chunk of aluminum you pop in your pocket, that would be great.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.