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Vision Pro 2: everything we expect from the future of Apple’s headsets

Apple’s Vision Pro headset has been the talk of the tech world since it was unveiled, but Apple is already planning to follow it up with two new models that could take the headset to new heights — and put it into the hands of more people. That includes a second-generation Apple Vision Pro, as well as a pared-back headset with a lower price.

What exactly should we expect from these devices? What kind of features will they offer, and when will they launch? If you’re seeking the answers to all those questions and more, you’re in the right place, as our rumor roundup will guide you through everything you need to know. Let’s get started.

Vision Pro 2: price and release date

A person wearing the Apple Vision Pro demo unit in an Apple Store.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Since the first-generation Apple Vision Pro only launched in February 2024, it will be a little while until the follow-up sees the light of day. However, there seem to be differing opinions on when exactly that will be.

According to industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Vision Pro 2 will likely be unveiled in 2025. Previously, journalist Mark Gurman claimed Apple was aiming for this date. However, Gurman updated his prediction in a February 2024 report, saying that the second-generation Vision Pro was at least 18 months away from release. Judging by Apple’s tendency to wait until it feels it’s got a product exactly right, the later date might prove to be the correct one.

Kuo also says the second-generation headset will come in two flavors: a high-end successor to the original Vision Pro and a scaled-back version with a lower price (which we’ll come to later in this article). If that’s the case, both models will likely be revealed at the same time.

As for the price, we’re expecting the Apple Vision Pro 2 to cost around the same as the $3,499 Vision Pro. While some components will probably become cheaper, Apple will want to increase the device’s performance and feature set, so don’t expect too much movement here.

Vision Pro 2: what will it be called?

A man wearing the Vision Pro using floating keyboard while looking at virtual screens.

The Vision Pro name was a surprise to many Apple followers, as for months, the rumor mill had suggested Apple would call it the Reality Pro. The indication now is that Apple’s next-generation headsets will follow this Vision naming system and not use the Reality moniker instead.

We’re calling the second-generation model Apple Vision Pro 2 for simplicity, but Apple might decide to call it Vision Pro (2nd Generation) or simply keep the Vision Pro name and not differentiate it with a model number. It takes one of these two approaches for almost every hardware product it makes, barring the iPhone.

The cheaper headset was previously rumored to be called Reality One, so we could see Apple call it the Vision One instead or just Apple Vision. The fact that the high-end headset is called Vision Pro implies there’s going to be a non-Pro version, which lends weight to the pared-back Apple Vision naming idea.

Vision Pro 2: features

An Apple Vision Pro demo unit on a desk in an Apple Store.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Rumors about the Vision Pro 2’s features are a little thin on the ground, but there have been some murmurings. For one thing, it’s expected to come with a faster processor — potentially either Apple’s M3 or M4 chip, according to journalist Mark Gurman. That’s because the current model is “not powerful enough to output graphics at a level Apple would ideally like,” Gurman says.

Meanwhile, Kuo believes that “The cost of the second-generation pancake lenses [inside the headset] will likely increase to improve the visual experience and form factor design.” So, expect more visual fidelity and perhaps a new design. Market research firm Omdia has also backed up Kuo’s claim by saying that the next Vision Pro will come with more advanced micro-OLED panels, which will result in improved brightness and efficiency.

Elsewhere, Kuo also thinks the headset could get a wide-ranging redesign for its second-generation model, with a lighter chassis that features a fresh industrial design, a faster processor, and a new battery system.

Finally, there’s no denying that the first Vision Pro headset is on the heavy side and can result in discomfort if used for too long (something we experienced in our hands-on review). It looks like Apple might seek to remedy that, as a new patent has emerged that shows the company wants to add a “balancing mass” to the device. This would shift the headset’s weight to the opposite direction that your head moves in, with the idea being that it helps reduce the neck strain you might otherwise feel. We’ll have to see if that makes an appearance in the Vision Pro 2.

What about the cheaper headset?

A man wears an Apple Vision Pro headset.

Reports have indicated that the Vision Pro is priced at or close to the cost of production, so if Apple is going to produce a cheaper headset, it will have to make a lot of cuts to keep the price down. If it succeeds, Gurman believes that Apple can knock “several hundred dollars” off the price of the Vision Pro.

The cheaper headset was previously rumored to cost $1,500, but that was when the Vision Pro price was assumed to be $3,000. With the higher $3,499 price, the lower-cost device could be $2,000 or even $2,500. According to The Information (via 9to5Mac), Apple aims to price it around the same level as an iPhone. For reference, the iPhone 15 series currently costs $799 to $1,599.

Mark Gurman thinks the more affordable headset could be unveiled “as early as the end of 2025,” but 2026 is possible. Kuo also thinks 2025 is a possible launch date. As we mentioned earlier, we expect the Apple Vision and Vision Pro 2 headsets to be revealed at the same time.

Apple Vision Pro's spatial computing could make it easier to work from home.
Apple Vision Pro’s spatial computing could make it easier to work from home. Apple

While the cheaper Apple Vision headset will still adopt the mixed-reality approach of the Vision Pro, it will cut back on many features to bring the price down. According to Mark Gurman, these could include:

  • Lower quality displays
  • Using an iPhone or older Mac chip
  • Fewer cameras
  • A simpler headband design without built-in speakers (AirPods could be used instead)
  • Manual instead of automatic pupil adjustments
  • Removing the 3D camera
  • A cheaper frame

Gurman also states that over time, the manufacturing process will get cheaper, and economies of scale will help, too.

The Information agrees that Apple could reduce the display quality and processor performance and might also use cheaper materials. The outlet also thinks Apple could drop the H2 chip that is used to lower the latency with paired AirPods.

A man wears an Apple Vision Pro headset.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

All that said, Mark Gurman believes Apple will not compromise in a few areas. That includes the outward-facing screen (dubbed EyeSight by Apple) and the eye- and hand-tracking capabilities.

Well, that’s if the cheaper device goes ahead. A report from Ming-Chi Kuo published in September 2023 indicated that Apple might have actually thrown in the towel on the cheaper headset. According to Kuo, Apple may have ended the development of the cheaper headset, and without this device, the analyst added that Apple could be in trouble if it didn’t lower the price of the main headset. Kuo didn’t give a reason as to why the lower-cost model may have been discontinued, but it’s not an encouraging sign.

What else is Apple working on?

Apple iGlasses
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There have long been rumors that Apple is developing a set of augmented reality (AR) glasses, which could include many of the features of the Vision Pro but in a much smaller package.

However, Mark Gurman reported in January 2023 that Apple had postponed the development of its AR glasses “indefinitely.” Gurman offered an update in May 2023, saying that the glasses were at least four years away from launching, so you shouldn’t expect them any time soon. Indeed, Kuo doesn’t think they will launch until 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is also experimenting with AR contact lenses that could launch at some point in the 2030s. That’s way off in the future, though, and like many experimental projects, Apple might decide not to go ahead with it in the end.

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