Cheaper Vision Pro “N107” to offer tethered VR experience

Apple entered the augmented and virtual reality arena with the launch of the Vision Pro headset earlier this year. Despite its advanced features and standalone capabilities, the headset has not garnered the anticipated sales numbers, starting at a premium price of $3,499. Now, Apple is shifting its strategy to appeal to a broader market segment with a more affordable alternative.

Vision Pro - visionOS

The upcoming N107 headset, slated for release by the end of 2025, represents Apple’s attempt to lower the barrier to entry into XR technology. Priced between $1,500 and $2,000, the N107 aims to achieve affordability by incorporating tethered functionality. Unlike its predecessor, which operates independently, the N107 will rely on a tethered connection to an iPhone or Mac for processing power.

This strategic move allows Apple to significantly reduce production costs by leveraging existing devices’ computational capabilities. The N107 is expected to feature adjustments such as lower-quality internal XR screens, potentially omitting features like the external EyeSight display, and using less powerful chipsets. These measures are intended to balance cost reduction with maintaining essential functionalities.

Mark Gurman’s insights from Bloomberg highlight Apple’s challenge in lowering costs while preserving core features in the N107. Despite potential compromises, tethering to iPhones or Macs aims to democratize VR technology by offering a more accessible price point. This approach may attract a wider audience interested in experiencing Apple’s XR ecosystem without the higher investment of the Vision Pro XR.

Looking forward, Apple remains committed to advancing its XR capabilities with the Vision Pro N109, expected no earlier than late 2026. This next-generation headset promises improvements such as faster processors, enhanced external cameras, and refinements in comfort and usability. While the N107 targets affordability, the N109 underscores Apple’s dedication to the high-end VR market, emphasizing performance and premium features.

The N107’s adoption hinges on a critical question: can affordability outweigh the limitations of a tethered connection? While the price tag is attractive, users might be wary of sacrificing the convenience and freedom of movement offered by standalone headsets. Apple’s gamble with the N107 reflects its commitment to making VR more accessible, but its success relies on striking a delicate balance between affordability and a truly immersive experience.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.