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When Apple announced the Vision Pro late in 2023, we all learned about Apple’s vision for the future of VR, AR and wearable technology. It seems like Apple is leaning into an emotional pitch for its Vision Pro launch rather than leaning into VR gaming like its main competitor in the space, Meta. However, there are compelling reasons to believe that it might struggle to find its footing in 2024. Here are six reasons why:

#1: VR Takes Time – that we don’t have

From smartphones to smartwatches, each gadget demands a slice of our attention and time. The introduction of the Apple Vision Pro adds to this digital clutter. Many potential users might find it challenging to carve out additional time to use yet another device, especially when they’re already busy with existing tech products that fulfill similar needs.

Unfortunately, VR headsets are devices you CHOOSE to use and not devices that easily fit into your daily life. Unlike smartphones, ipads, laptops or computers, VR headsets take up a significant amount of space but have very rare use case scenarios. Apple so far, has not made a great case for finding time to use the Vision Pro and it still does not seem to have a great answer.

Quest 2 Vs Quest 3

#2: AR Headsets are a hassle…

The Apple Vision Pro requires users to put on a headset, ensure it’s charged, and adjust it for a proper fit. This process might seem trivial, but in a world where convenience is king, even a minor inconvenience can be a significant deterrent. The ease of pulling a smartphone out of your pocket contrasts sharply with the ritual of setting up a headset, and this could prove to be a major hurdle for widespread adoption.

Why VR doesn’t work with Everyday Carries

Ask your favorite tech nerd or content creator about their everyday carry. This everyday carry resembles the items that are essential for us to bring around with us. Unfortunately, there is no reason for anyone to carry around a VR headset with them unless they are in a very niche job. Even then, VR does not need to be in anyone’s backpack and can stay at work or at home where they are more likely to use the device.

Quest 2 Sales up and Quest 3 Sales Down... VR News graphic

#3: Vision Pro Doesn’t Differentiate Enough

As technology advances at an astonishing pace, Apple never fails to astound us with its innovative creations. The introduction of the Apple Vision Pro into the market has sparked curiosity and raised a pertinent question: will its proposed features overlap with what our existing devices already offer?

This contemplation may lead discerning consumers to ponder over the necessity of investing in yet another specialized gadget amidst the abundance of technological options available. It is only natural for individuals to question whether this new addition would bring substantial value or simply introduce redundancy.

While it is true that some functionalities offered by the Apple Vision Pro might exist in other devices we already possess, we must consider the advancements that come along with this new gadget. It may very well introduce novel features or improvements that surpass anything currently available on the market. Additionally, specialized gadgets often excel in specific areas due to their focused development efforts.

The Vision Pro is a Redundant Investment

The Apple Vision Pro could bring forth tailored functionalities specifically designed for certain tasks or activities – empowering users with unparalleled performance in those domains. Therefore, rather than viewing it as a redundant investment overlapping existing device capabilities, we should see the introduction of Apple Vision Pro as an opportunity for technological advancement. It represents a chance to experience breakthroughs that could elevate our digital experiences to new heights and fulfill unique needs that may have previously gone unmet.

Person Using Apple Apps in VR

Image courtesy of Apple.com

#4: Apple Native Apps Aren’t Enough

For a new tech product to truly stand out, it needs to offer something unique – a killer app or feature that compels users to adopt it. As of now, the Apple Vision Pro doesn’t seem to have that ‘it’ factor. Without a standout application or use case that differentiates it from the rest of the tech pack, it risks being perceived as just another gadget rather than a must-have device.

While Apple has built a strong reputation for its innovative apps and software ecosystem, relying solely on their existing apps may not be enough to differentiate the Vision Pro VR headset from its competitor, the Meta Quest 3.

Apps supported natively by Apple Vision Pro likely won't be enough

Image courtesy of Apple.com

Apple Mobile Apps on VR

One of the key concerns is the lack of app support for the Vision Pro headset. While iMessage and other Apple apps are popular among users, they are primarily designed for mobile devices and may not offer the immersive experiences that VR enthusiasts seek. Without a diverse range of dedicated VR apps, users may find limited options when it comes to exploring new virtual worlds or engaging in interactive experiences.

Lack of Gaming Support

Furthermore, gaming is a crucial aspect of any VR headset’s appeal, and currently, Apple’s app ecosystem falls short in this area. The Meta Quest 3 boasts a wide selection of gaming titles specifically designed for virtual reality, providing users with an immersive gaming experience that goes beyond what traditional mobile apps can offer.

To truly differentiate itself from its competitors, Apple needs to address these limitations by actively encouraging developers to create compelling VR experiences tailored specifically for the Vision Pro headset. By fostering a robust ecosystem of VR applications and games, Apple can provide users with an unparalleled immersive experience that sets it apart from other VR headsets on the market.

Rapid technology change demonstrating where users are going

#5. The Rapid Pace of Tech Obsolescence

Apple has always been known for its meticulous product development strategy, focusing on delivering high-quality and innovative products to its customers. However, when it comes to the fast-paced world of virtual reality (VR) and the demands it brings, some argue that Apple’s “slowly iterate” approach may not be suitable.

VR development requires constant innovation and rapid iteration to keep up with the evolving technology landscape. The needs of VR users are demanding, requiring cutting-edge hardware and software capabilities that push the boundaries of what is possible. In this context, a “build fast and break things” mentality seems more fitting.

Critics argue that Apple’s reputation for being slow to innovate may hinder its ability to compete in the rapidly advancing field of VR. While Apple has made strides in augmented reality (AR) with its ARKit platform, some believe that its progress in VR has been relatively slow compared to competitors.

However, it is important to note that Apple has always prioritized delivering polished and user-friendly experiences over rushing into new technologies. They take their time to ensure seamless integration between hardware and software, creating a cohesive ecosystem for their users.

While it is true that VR innovation is moving at an incredible pace, we should also consider Apple’s track record of slowly entering markets when they believe they can offer something truly groundbreaking. Apple’s cautious approach may not lead them to introduce a game-changing VR product when they feel confident in meeting consumer expectations.

Apple Vision Pro on a Black Woman

6. High Cost and Durability Concerns

Finally, the cost factor cannot be overlooked. Apple products are known for their premium pricing, and the Apple Vision Pro is no exception. This high cost, coupled with concerns about its durability (especially around children who might accidentally damage it), could make it a risky investment for average consumers. In a market where cost-effectiveness increasingly drives purchasing decisions, the Vision Pro’s price tag and fragility could be significant drawbacks.

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