This isn’t exactly one of our Do You Use It? polls, but it’s similarly aimed at helping us all understand the collective opinion of the TidBITS audience. Much has been said about the cost of Apple’s new Vision Pro, with the base unit priced at $3499. But it’s easy to spend more—well over $4000 after tax—if you want more storage, need prescription lenses, add AppleCare+, think you’d use a travel case, and so on.
So yes, the Vision Pro is expensive, but that’s not to say it’s overpriced, given its undoubtedly high component and assembly costs. Reports suggest that Apple may have sold as many as 200,000 units on the opening weekend, so some people think the Vision Pro is worth what Apple is charging.
How about you? Given what you know about the Vision Pro and the real-world uses you might have for it, how much would you pay for it? Don’t answer from simple techno-lust—think hard about how much value you would derive from the Vision Pro, perhaps in the context of other Apple devices.
How much would you pay for a Vision Pro?
I wouldn’t buy one: You wouldn’t buy today’s Vision Pro at any price because you can imagine no use for it.
Under $100: You consider the Vision Pro’s utility akin to a peripheral like a keyboard, mouse, or Apple Pencil.
$100 to $500: You feel the Vision Pro will be like an Apple Watch in extending the interaction possibilities of another device.
$500 to $1000: You think the utility of the Vision Pro would be comparable to an iPhone, an iPad, or a good external display.
$1000 to $3500: You believe a Vision Pro would be as valuable to you as an iPhone Pro, iPad Pro, or Mac.
I ordered one: Please share your use case and why you feel it’s worth the price.
Spot on. My use case is probably different from most people’s because I could justify it purely by writing about it, at least in that $500 to $1000 range. And having a big Mac screen while on an airplane and when on trips (though I travel much less than before the pandemic) would be worthwhile. (But can you wear an N95 mask while using the Vision Pro? I wouldn’t set foot on an airplane without a mask today.) But I can’t see getting anywhere near as much value out of it as my iPhone 15 Pro or MacBook Air, much less my 27-inch iMac with a second 27-inch display.
My feeling about it, and price range, align with Adam’s. And no, I wouldn’t get on a plane without a mask. I won’t even enter the supermarket without a mask. But then again, people here in Tokyo are still mostly wearing masks.
I am in the process of revising my Take Control book on Apple Interface Mysteries, and, as the Vision Pro and visionOS introduce a whole new set of user interface conventions, conventions that will reverberate among the existing Apple interfaces, I need to explore the day to day experience of using the visionOS UX.
I don’t see why I would buy one myself because I’m fine using a regular monitor for my work. My type of work (coding, writing, presentations) does not benefit from all the extra potential of these goggles, but it sure would be a lot more fidgety than just turning on the 27" in front of me and getting to work. Not to mention 2.5 hrs lifetime (unless tethered), discomfort, etc.
That said, I still selected $500-$1000 because I think it’s absolutely fair to consider this a monitor worth that price. If we for a moment recall that Apple presently charges about $2k for a reasonably spec’ed 5K screen, a sub-$1k price point for this is certainly no stretch by any means.
I have no problem conceding that this is expensive hardware intended for early adopters. But for myself there is by far not enough bang for buck here. For all those who are intrigued by these goggles but cannot afford them, I have this simple truth to offer for consolation. Rest assured this gen 1 AVP is the worst Apple Vision they will ever release. The next one will perhaps be less expensive, but for sure it will be a whole lot better.
I’d be happy to be proved wrong but I think it’s a dead end product. Too bulky, unwieldy and power hungry. Yes, all those problems would be solved if they can shrink it down into the size of a pair of spectacles without a separate battery pack but is that really within the realm of the possible (at least in my lifetime) ?
The question on price is unanswerable until I know whether it would make me sick. This is not a casual question. I have extreme motion sickness – on a bad day, I can get sick watching a train go by. I strongly doubt I can use any headset, but without more information, how can I know?
That’s from me as a person with autism. Given how widespread sensory problems are in autism, I think we need a separate review by a profile of people with sensory differences.
It is frightening to imagine the possibility that a device like this might become mandatory for work or daily life.
According to Wikipedia, the Apple //e was released in January 1983, and cost US$1,995 ($5,860 in 2022) which included the main unit with: Disk II and controller, Apple Monitor III and stand, and Extended 80-Column Text Card. I mention this because it is relevant to my reply. I was willing to pay that much for my very first computer because I was excited about the prospect of owning it. At that time I really didn’t have a clear idea of how I would use this cool thing, but I wanted it.
Now, 40 years later, another really cool thing is coming out; so why am I not just excited about getting it? Two reasons.
One, I’m twice as old as I was then, so I’m less impressed by the cool stuff just because it’s cool. It has to have some obvious value to satisfy a need.
Two, I already have a lot of cool stuff like the MBPro I’m typing this on, the iPhone that serves so many purposes, the iPad that serves some purposes (occasionally), and even my new Kindle when I want to read a good novel in bed; so when would I find time to invest in another gadget, just because it’s cool? Remember, I’m old.
Even at age 80, I’d likely spring for a Vision Pro IF I really needed something it provides. But who knows? Maybe by the time I’m 90 I’ll have the latest version; but today? Nah!
There’s definite interest in high-quality VR / AR headsets. I teach chemistry, and there’s been some adoption among universities for both the educational aspects and the research aspects of VR. (It’s hard to teach about 3D molecules with 2D displays and static physical models only get you so far.)
I selected $500-1000, although I expect that a “Vision Air” or “Vision Light” in the $1500-1800 range could still get some significant adoption for science and engineering – even if it required a power cord rather than the existing battery pack.
The catch with a lot of VR headsets is that you also need a pretty good PC with a good GPU. So a self-contained system like Vision Pro is nice … and a mid-level or low-level version would undercut the cost of the PC + headset competition.
Looking forward to Gen2 or Gen 3 and a “Vision” (non-Pro) edition.
I actually find today’s iPads too expensive for the use I get out of them. My current iPad mini 5 is the last one standing of 5 I’ve owned. I’d love to replace it with at least a mini 6 or maybe an Air, but I just cannot justify the price of either, given the mini 5 is still running fine and its use cases, although daily, are rather limited for me.
That’s how I see the Vision Pro. An iPad for my face. Way cooler, but not way different in use cases. I still have an iPhone 11 Pro and I guess I will upgrade soon to remain “current” but as someone who couldn’t care less about the cameras… what am I missing out on?
No, for me, the device I will spend thousands on is my Mac. If I had $4000 burning a hole in my pocket today, and the Vision Pro was actually available in New Zealand, I’d buy a MacBook Pro.
I can also imagine eventually being convinced that I have a use for it. Even then, though, that price would have to be a whole lot lower for me to consider it. My uneducated guess would be some price under $1,500.
I would like to try to try Apple Vision because I’m interested in optics and vision. But I wouldn’t buy one because my vision is not up to it. I was extremely myopic until I had cataract surgery several years ago. The surgery corrected my vision so I can see clearly beyond about three feet, and walk around or drive without wearing glasses. However, I cannot see sharply closer without reading glasses. I am working happily now on a 27-inch desktop screen, but I find small screens uncomfortable and don’t use a smartphone. I can see that Apple Vision Pro is not matched to my needs.
I have one sitting in my office waiting for the prescription lens inserts to arrive. I can’t see that it’s rationally worth the price, but I’m not going to suffer hardship from buying it. If we take the price I paid for older Macs in the 1990s and early 2000s and apply the inflation percentage to them, their price was comparable to the AVP.
I’m curious about it, and getting the demo from Apple convinced me that it wouldn’t be a total waste.
I voted “I wouldn’t buy one” with the following reasons:
While I think the Vision Pro holds a lot of promise, it seems to be just that today - a promise, with a limited range of capabilities today. It seems paying $3,500+ is a lot for buying a promise and hoping it will improve tomorrow - in ways I hoped it will improve.
Various descriptions of the Vision Pro being heavy, reminds me of my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headset - great for the price, but rather heavy and exerts considerable pressure on my head, and gets rather hot because of its circumaural design.
I want to spend more time in the nature instead of being strapped to my seat or confined indoors - the latter seems to be the case for Vision Pro today.
That being the case, I guess I will buy the Vision Pro when these conditions are met:
I can describe exactly how the Vision Pro meets my needs instead of having to rely on imagination (or vision?), to the extent that I can use the Vision Pro as intended.
The Vision Pro works well enough as an extension or supplement to my existing computing platforms, especially the Mac. One use case will be visualising representation of large data models that requires 100+GB of RAM. Being one 4K display is simply not sufficient. Also, it takes a lot more than just having the Vision Pro to make such use cases possible; whole ecosystems and workflows need to come into existence, and that takes time.
There is a good selection of flight simulators that run on Vision Pro, e.g. X-Plane, and being able to look at high-resolution/immersive content e.g. photos; the latter is already possible.
The headset does not feel like another HD 280 Pro.
I do think it’s worth $3,500. It is a tour de force of engineering and design. It is not for consumers (except for rabid movie persons who don’t like going to movie theaters and sitting with, er, other persons).
I won’t get one, even though I’d love to try it, because I basically have just one eye (the other has the equivalent of peripheral vision) . . . so monocular depth perception. So, not so attractive.
But, in an office, for a purpose like architectural design, product design, molecule design, 3D visualization or endless training purposes this is the bees knees. No other AR/VR system that I’m aware-of has this level of image quality & ease of control for this price. And once the developers get their teeth into it? Yow.
It’s not going to be an iPhone-class consumer innovation but it sure is going to shake things up a bit in a few years. But as I’ve said elsewhere on TidBits, what we all really want is a holodeck; no helmet.
As an Apple consultant, I’m certainly curious, but generally shy away from V1. Yes I did buy the very first Mac, with a blazing 128K of RAM, and don’t regret because it got me using a computer in a practical and playful way. That said, I waited for the v2 of the iPhone and iPad. I can’t say that I’ll get v2 of the Vision Pro, because as of now it seems to be a wonderful toy and not something that will make me more productive. Like many, most of my entertainment watching is with my husband, no solo. We’ll see, but not now.
If we are considering value, then there is work to be considered. Beyond the specifics VR brings to certain work, Apple are pushing productivity. It’s aligned with the AR emphasis they bring. Your virtual desk in your actual room.
It strikes me that it’s probably productive in the way that an iPad Pro is productive. That is to say, you can be productive, even very productive, but not as much as on your Mac.
The implementation of the Mac on the platform I had thought might expand but, thinking about it, I’m not so sure. There’s only so far the two interfaces work together.
Watching Patel and the others shifting and moving arms and tilting heads as they navigate their way, I wondered about this in groups or large numbers. What a strange species we might become.
We are a ways off true AR and optical rather than video pass through, but it is interesting to consider how the human animal is still key to what is possible. What will we think of each other when we can see each others faces, but not what we are each looking at, as we tilt and pinch and wave?