Apple Vision Pro costs $3,500 — but could cost less than half that to make

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Future)

We were all astonished during the Apple Vision Pro's announcement earlier this week to hear just how much it'll cost. But while Apple will be charging $3,499 for its new AR/VR headset, leaker Revegnus has got a hold of the Vision Pro's bill of materials, which suggests that they may actually cost just $1,509 for Apple to manufacture.

As you can see by running the graphic below through machine translation, the most expensive items are the dual inner displays, manufactured by Sony, which cost $350 each. Assembly by manufacturing partner LuxShare costs $130 per unit, while adding in the Apple M2 chip is $120. The total cost for the headset's body, consisting of its aluminum frame and its fabric strap, also comes to $120 per unit.

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All the other components, including storage, RAM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, lenses for the display, external cameras and so on, all cost a lot less than these parts, but all help bring the total price to just over one-and-a-half grand.

As the graphic points out at the bottom, this bill of materials is based on all the publicly listed prices for the various components. It's possible Apple is actually paying different, perhaps even lower, rates for these parts given its status and existing relationships with suppliers.

Hardly a bargain, but maybe not such a rip-off either

While it does look like Apple's charging way over the mark for this headset, this is typical for consumer electronics. Very few products are sold at cost or at a loss (games consoles being the biggest example of this) and after all, Apple is a business and needs to generate profit to keep things ticking along. Plus, Apple no doubt wants to generate more money to fund more research into VR, as well as hopefully ensure staff from manufacturing all the way through to sales are compensated fairly.

The price is also helpful in communicating to the public this headset isn't a mainstream device. While we're told by the rumor mill to expect a cheaper Apple Glasses headset in the future, keeping the initial cost high will have the useful side effect of making sure only dedicated users try out this unproven new product.

While Apple did announce the price of the Vision Pro headset, as well as key features like adjustable immersion, eye and hand tracking and launch apps like Encounter Dinosaurs, we won't see it launch until next year. At least WWDC 2023 also announced more affordable products launching much sooner, such as the 15-inch MacBook Air, as well as free updates to existing devices in the form of iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.