The upcoming release of the Apple Vision Pro headset next year signifies a significant step for the company in the XR (extended reality) space. Priced at $3,500, the Vision Pro serves as an expensive introduction to Apple’s augmented reality (AR) ambitions. While Apple may currently seem to overlook VR, it is unlikely to do so indefinitely.
Apple has historically been slow to adopt new technologies. However, with the Vision Pro, the company appears to be taking a different approach. It has established a dedicated Vision Products Group (VPG) to lead XR product development, breaking away from its traditional departmental structure. In addition, Apple is actively engaging with developers, providing them with early access to the headset through developer kits and labs. This shift in strategy underscores Apple’s commitment to the XR market.
Another reason Apple may eventually embrace VR on the Vision headset is its reliance on app revenue. Similar to iOS devices, the Vision headset operates within Apple’s ecosystem, allowing the company to generate income from app purchases. Apple’s recent foray into gaming with Apple VR Arcade demonstrates its growing focus on the gaming industry. While Apple may not prioritize gaming to the same extent as companies like Meta or Microsoft, it is likely to leverage VR capabilities on the Vision headset to capture a broader audience.
As Apple continues to establish a significant market share with the Vision headset, it may become more compelled to compete with VR-focused companies. However, Apple’s cautious approach of not fully emphasizing VR at the moment provides a safer strategy as it explores uncharted territory. Nonetheless, once Apple gains momentum in the XR space, it will face increasing pressure to unlock the full VR potential of the Vision headset and remove any unnecessary limitations.
The exact timeline for Apple’s adoption of Virtual Reality remains uncertain. However, it aligns with the company’s typical approach of holding onto highly desired features until an opportune moment. Therefore, it is likely that Apple will eventually integrate VR functionalities into its products.