Apple halts development on the next Vision Pro

Apple is reportedly putting the brakes on development of its next high-end augmented reality (AR) headset, the Vision Pro, according to a report from The Information. This decision comes amidst efforts to revitalize sales of the current model and prioritize a more affordable AR offering.

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Citing sources within the Vision Pro’s supply chain and manufacturing, the report indicates that Apple is still aiming to release a more accessible Vision headset with fewer features by the end of 2025. This strategy suggests a two-pronged approach: expanding the target audience with a lower price point while simultaneously boosting sales of the existing Vision Pro through international expansion.

The $3,500 Vision Pro has reportedly seen slower-than-expected demand following its initial launch. To address this, Apple plans to introduce the device to eight new markets, including China and Japan. This expansion into major tech hubs could reignite interest in the high-end headset.

Apple’s recent developer conference served as a potential turning point. The unveiling of their AI strategy and a partnership with OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, suggests a renewed commitment to the future of AR technology. This focus on AI development, coupled with the rising stock price (up 11% year-to-date after lagging behind competitors due to iPhone sales concerns), paints a picture of a company strategically adapting its AR roadmap.

The report further suggests that Apple originally envisioned a two-tiered Vision product line, mirroring the standard and Pro versions of the iPhone. However, the company seems to be prioritizing cost reduction for existing components and shifting resources towards the development of a more affordable headset model. This shift in focus indicates a potential course correction, aiming to broaden the appeal of AR technology to a wider consumer base.