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

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.

Apple Vision Pro at Steve Jobs Theater
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."

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

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Top Rated Comments

THE VATICANTS Avatar
19 weeks ago
The iPad could have been a masterpiece if it ran Mac OS. It has 20 versions out there and still it's just a large iPhone. I use mine for flying and that's about it. Also run a pretty big YouTube review channel and not one time, ever, would I have even considered doing real music production or film editing on the iPad over my MacBook Pro. People say "well if you put macOS on iPad it'll run into Mac sales....so WHAT? IT GOES IN THE SAME POCKET, who cares, let it.
The iPad is, has been and always will be held back from any full potential as long as it runs a glorified iPhone OS. I don't even see a difference between just having a iPad Air vs a pro. Ah, yes, the camera ...which is still **** on both...
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
19 weeks ago

Like iphone 4...app store, enough performance, good form and so on..
I think it was iPhone 4S when I said: That’s it! I am getting an iPhone.

It was so iconic, the form factor and design language was probably my favorite. Of course today I favor larger screens, but for a long time it was my favorite iPhone.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
19 weeks ago
I will say: if you have the 15 Pro, take some of the spatial video now of the people you care about. Or places you go. You don't have to do a lot, but take some now because even with the 1st generation, it is really cool to see our 4 year old from Christmas 2023. I'm sure it will keep improving - it would be nice if it was 4k or 8k for example - but I wish I'd been able to do this of my parents and grandparents. Maybe the 16 Pro will do it in 4k or 8k.

These are irreplaceable moments so take a little of it, if/when you get a AVP or something else to display it, you'll be happy you did. :-)
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AlexESP Avatar
19 weeks ago

The iPad could have been a masterpiece if it ran Mac OS. It has 20 versions out there and still it's just a large iPhone. I use mine for flying and that's about it. Also run a pretty big YouTube review channel and not one time, ever, would I have even considered doing real music production or film editing on the iPad over my MacBook Pro. People say "well if you put macOS on iPad it'll run into Mac sales....so WHAT? IT GOES IN THE SAME POCKET, who cares, let it.
The iPad is, has been and always will be held back from any full potential as long as it runs a glorified iPhone OS. I don't even see a difference between just having a iPad Air vs a pro. Ah, yes, the camera ...which is still **** on both...
I think macOS on the iPad wouldn’t ruin Mac sales, it would ruin iPad sales. There is a tech bubble (including Gurman) that believes macOS on the iPad would be a good idea, but the iPad concept has defeated every tablet PC competitor in the market, and generates the same revenue as the Mac even if no models were launched this year. The iPad is not as huge as the iPhone, sure, but it’s an enormous success.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MayaUser Avatar
19 weeks ago
Like iphone 4...app store, enough performance, good form and so on..
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the future Avatar
19 weeks ago
My god is Gurman dumb. He has sources, obviously, but that is the only thing keeping him afloat. His own „analysis“ is just incredibly shallow.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)