Apple’s Vision Pro headset has been several years in the making. Now that we’ve seen it and know what to expect when it launches next year, it’s time to look forward to everything else Apple has planned between now and the end of next year. But thanks to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, we have a pretty good idea of what the company’s upcoming roadmap may involve.
While Apple still needs to bring the Vision Pro to Apple Store shelves, there’s still several months before that’s likely to happen. That means there’s work to be done, and while the hardware is more or less ready, the software still needs some fine-tuning. Features like in-air typing, Eyesight and adapting Apple’s own iPads apps for the headset are among those needing some work.
Apple is also said to have developed a second strap for the headset, after testers reported issues with the headset's weight after a couple of hours. However this headset may be sold as an optional accessory, rather than included with the $3,500 headset.
As for when the headset might launch, all we have is “early 2024”. Though Gurman notes this could end up being as late as May, which would put the release at odds with the new M3 Macs — which are rumored to arrive in mid-2024. He notes it wouldn’t be a great look for the headset to arrive too close to Macs that are cheaper and include a more powerful chip.
There’s plenty more from Apple in the next 18 months
While the Vision Pro has (rightly) got all the attention, there are still other Apple products on the way, and we’re not just talking about the iPhone 15 range — due to launch this fall.
According to Gurman there will be three Apple Watch models launching this year — at the same time as the iPhone 15. That includes two Apple Watch series 9 models and an updated version of the Ultra. Which isn’t a huge surprise, but we had heard some rumors that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 might not arrive until 2024. So it’s nice that the rugged Apple smartwatch may get annual refreshes after all. Presumably the two Apple Watch 9 models are different sizes of the same device, as per usual.
Gurman also claims that three MacBook pro models are on the way in the near future, including a 13-inch MacBook Pro M3. So it seems Apple may not agree that the MacBook Air 15-inch makes that particular product irrelevant. Upgraded versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, running the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips are expected as well, which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.
Two Macbook Air models are set to arrive, likely upgraded 13-inch and 15-inch models, as well as two 24-inch iMacs. Gurman has been told a 30-inch iMac may also be in the early stages of development.
Two iPad Pros with OLED screens are tipped as well, though Gurman doesn’t offer any details on what else they may offer. Considering how long OLED iPads have been rumored, hopefully those will arrive in early 2024 as the previous models start to age out. A replacement for the M1 iPad Air is also supposed to be coming, but again we don’t know when or what chip it may run.
Gurman mentioned early development has begun on the AirPods Pro 3, a new Apple TV with improved hardware specs, and potentially new home-centric kit like smart displays.
But what about Vision Pro 2?
Despite the work that needs doing on Vision Pro, work on a second generation is still happening according to Gurman. However the details are pretty scant, and at this stage there isn’t a lot we can say about the headset.
The second generation headset is tipped to come with features that Gurman initially reported would be on the Vision Pro. That includes the ability to view multiple Mac desktop screens at a time, virtual fitness content as part of Fitness Plus, and the option for multiple users to use digital Personas in FaceTime conferences.
It’s previously been rumored that the second generation Vision Pro headset could come with a lower price tag, making it more accessible to the masses. While we hope this is the case, I can certainly envision a time where Apple releases two new headsets — one lower cost option and another ultra-premium with the latest and best technology. A true Vision Pro 2, alongside the Vision SE, if you will.
According to Gurman the second generation Vision Pro won’t be arriving until 2025 at the earliest. But as he notes, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of products for people to enjoy in the interim.
Just be warned that plans can and do change, so all these products may not be quite how they’re described. Gurman usually has a very good track record of insider information, but it doesn’t discount Apple changing its own plans in the coming months. But hopefully as the launch of these products inches closer, other leaks and rumors will divulge more information that corroborates or contradicts what we know so far.