The cheaper Apple Vision Pro could ditch a prominent feature — and I’m pretty happy about that

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Vision Pro headset is expensive, more expensive than most people can justify spending. We have heard some rumors about a future model with a lower price tag, but you probably shouldn’t hold out hope for it being, well, affordable. But some changes will apparently be made to ensure it’s cheaper.

According to Mark Gurman, in his latest Power On newsletter, Apple has been discussing the possibility of a price point between $1,500 and $2,500. Which is considerably less than the upcoming Vision Pro’s $3,500 price tag — even at the $2,500 mark. But even at the lowest end of that scale, the headset may still be too expensive for a lot of people.

Reducing the price will naturally come with some consequences. Gurman reiterated some of his previous claims, noting that the Vision Pro SE (or whatever it gets called) could end up with fewer cameras, lower resolution screens and an iPhone-grade chip — rather than an M-series you’d find in a MacBook.

He also added that the lower cost model may have to ditch the “EyeSight” feature, which displays part of the wearer’s face on an external display. The idea behind this was to enhance engagement between users and the real world — something Apple designers were reportedly worried about pre-announcement. 

Unfortunately it seems a little unsettling, giving Tom’s Guide Global Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer some Black Mirror vibes. I feel that there’s a big dose of uncanny valley in there too, and will not miss the feature if it does fall victim to cost-saving measures on future headsets.

Apple Vision Pro EyeSight feature

(Image credit: Apple)

We have heard speculation that Apple may not release a cheaper mixed reality headset anytime soon. Gurman claims that the company has pulled resources away from the long-rumored AR Apple Glasses — which are proving to be “too technically challenging”. So it sounds like a cheaper headset is a higher priority than some reports would have us believe.

Gurman also notes that a Vision Pro 2 is apparently in the works, with all the same features and hardware as the original. Little is known about what other upgrades we could see, but Gurman claims it’ll be smaller, lighter and be able to offer prescription lenses built directly into the headset itself.

Since the Apple Vision Pro won’t be arriving until early 2024, it’s probably going to be a while before we see any kind of follow-up. Regardless of whether that’s a cheaper SE version of the headset, or a true sequel. In the meantime you can check out our Apple Vision Pro hub for all the latest news and updates, or read up on our initial impressions in our Apple Vision Pro hands-on.

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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.