A cheaper Apple Vision headset could be on the horizon but we have nothing but rumors to validate this claim. Even before the device was released, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had suggested that the Apple VR headset would eventually have a more affordable variant to reach a wider audience. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also confirmed these rumors, stating that we could see the EyeSight display removed to help with the Apple Vision headset’s affordability. Apple has not commented on these rumors but it does seem like a viable solution to the company’s declining sales of the Apple VR headset.

Cheaper Apple Vision headset

Image: Is a cheaper Apple Vision Pro on the horizon?

A Cheaper Apple Vision Headset Might Draw In a Larger Crowd

Right from release, the VR headset has been touted more as a status symbol rather than a device celebrated for its features, its $3499 USD price tag too outrageous to consider for most consumers. We knew right from the get-go that the device would not be able to rely on high-quantity sales to make it worth the production costs and that’s exactly how things seem to have panned out. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s insight into the Apple VR headset has revealed that the company has slashed its production volumes by half, bringing the numbers down from 800,000 units planned for 2024, to 400,000-450,000 units only.

As alarming as that sounds, reviewers such as those over at Engadget, have reassured readers that these numbers are constantly changing and even if the production numbers are brought down, the company could still turn a profit. Considering the varied streams of revenue that the company enjoys, they will still be able to make it out comfortably and find a way to redesign the headset to meet their targets. The company’s commitment to “spatial computing” has only just started, and there could be a very successful line of products that follow once the company gets the technical details right.

The news of the Apple VR headset sales decline has also been paired with reports that the headset has found an audience that is committed to exploring the uses of the headset. According to CEO Tim Cook, “For example, more than half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Apple Vision Pro units and are exploring innovative ways to use them to do things that were previously impossible.” The Apple Vision headset’s unaffordability is more of a challenge for the consumer than the company but a cheaper Apple VR headset will not hurt.

Cheaper Apple VR headset

What Would a Cheaper Apple VR Headset Look Like?

To make a cheaper Apple Vision headset, Apple will have to make a lot of changes to cut production cost of the device. This would mean eliminating some key features that make the headset what it is. It would also require the company to target making a lighter Apple VR headset as its heavy form as it stands currently has been one of the many reasons that users have steered clear of the device.

Rumors suggest that Apple could swap out the M-series chipset for the M-series chips and eliminate the EyeSight front display for a cheaper Apple VR headset. If we’re being realistic, they would still put the Apple Vision headset’s affordability into question at $1500 to $2,500 USD, keeping it well out of reach of the average consumer. The company would have to make a bigger attempt at swapping some of the materials and reducing the capabilities of the device to match the competitive prices on the market for VR headsets. Meta’s take on these devices are usually priced around $300 USD, which is significantly better than anything Apple is rumored to offer, so there’s a long way to go for a cheaper Apple Vision headset to become a reality.

The Apple Vision Pro 2 is not scheduled to launch anytime before 2026 but this cheaper version of the Apple VR headset could arrive sooner, around 2025. Nothing has been confirmed about either product, but with the WWDC 2024 conference only a week away, we could see the company give us an update on what we can expect to see from the device, whether they’ve developed any methods to make a lighter Apple VR headset or made progress on its affordability.