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Apple Vision Pro Could Take Four Generations to Reach 'Ideal Form'

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1] [2]

Sunday February 11, 2024 6:48 am PST by Tim Hardwick

Realizing the Apple Vision Pro headset's "ideal form" could take four successive generations of the device, some people in Apple's Vision Products Group believe. That's according to well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman.



Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the feeling amongst some of the team working on Apple's headset is that there is much work to do before the device can be considered refined enough for customers to use on a day-to-day basis.

While it's not clear what Apple's development team consider to be the device's "ideal form," it's easy enough to take cues from some early adopters, whose issues with the first-generation device have extended to both the hardware and the software.

Many Vision Pro users feel the headset itself is too heavy and unwieldy for extended use, making generational miniaturization a crucial touchstone for improvement. Other criticisms have included poor battery life, not enough dedicated apps, and a preponderance of bugs in visionOS.

If Apple's team can resolve those issues over four generations - similar to the progression of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch - Gurman's take is that the Vision Pro could eventually replace the iPad.

Apple has had "mixed results" in attempting to position the iPad as more of a Mac replacement, Gurman says. Despite Apple's efforts to make it a multitasking device with features like Stage Manager, the iPad has struggled to become a true productivity workhorse like the Mac, and now sits in a limbo amongst Apple's other offerings. "The device lost its original purpose and has become a more confusing piece of Apple's product portfolio," writes Gurman.

As for Vision Pro, which starts at $3,500, "it's going to take some hardware upgrades, a slew of software updates, and far better support from app developers and content makers to actually make the headset the iPad replacement that it's capable of being," adds Gurman. "Until then, the Vision Pro is essentially a prototype — just one where you have to pay Apple for the privilege of testing it out."

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