Hear groans and laughter as the price tag for Apple's new headset is revealed

Originally published at: Hear groans and laughter as the price tag for Apple's new headset is revealed | Boing Boing


Who are these people that they apparently don’t know anything about Apple’s history-spanning product launch pricing strategy? Adjusted for inflation, the Apple I cost $3,556 ($666.66 in 1976); the Apple II, $6,500 ($1,298 in 1977); and the Macintosh at $7,300 ($2,495 in 1984).

Seeing what it can do in v1? Vision Pro is a steal.


Crowd reactions were similar for the highest end Studio display when they announced that at $5000. Especially with the $1500 stand you were basically required to buy :joy:

I’m honestly surprised Apple released this product at all. They’re usually very good at waiting until technology is no longer a fad or nerd hobby and ready for real people to do real work with. VR/AR is not there yet. Who wants to wear these ski goggles?


It seems to me that Apple has priced it about the same as Microsoft had done with their Hololens product. I think the real question is what is Apple and Unity providing to make the development of applications on the platform easier. It looks like it has more out of the box than Hololens 1 had which I think shows Apple is more serious than Microsoft on this matter (note that Apple’s AR goggles has far more sensors than the Hololens 1 from a few years ago). I’m not defending Apple here, just pointing out that in terms of technical features it looks like Apple wants this product to succeed but time will tell if that happens as I don’t see much of a general purpose for such devices (it’s great if you’re doing telemedicine or something else that greatly benefits from having information at hand without having to stop what you’re doing but I can’t see this becoming a daily driver for office work, gaming, and the like).


When I hear high prices for electronics like this, I always flash back to the PS3 announcement:

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Was that the one where another company went up after and said theirs was $100 cheaper and left?

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I don’t think it was quite as glib as that, but MS was showing the 360 off and it was $299/$399 depending on bundle. Nintendo hadn’t revealed the Wii yet, but that launched the next year for $250.Those relative prices made Sony’s console appear very overpriced… despite the fact they were already selling it at a loss in order to popularize blu-ray.

Then again they have also had some pretty big success stories selling devices people didn’t know they wanted until Apple came up with a version that was better than anything else on the market. Take the iPod: it was way more expensive than existing MP3 players but it ended up revolutionizing how people used mobile electronic devices. So who knows.


Yes, it’s expensive for consumer product, but not so from professional equipment. It’s ridiculous price if it’s only being used to watch movies and play games.

A “professional” VR/AR goggle costs above 2k, and 3D scanner costs 4-5k easy (yes, an industrial 3D scanner will very likely outperform this). At least on VR front, the equipment is in a league of its own with refresh rate and resolution. That alone makes it a pretty reasonable price. I would buy it just to visualize CAD models for parts and architecture. So it’s not that bad for prosumer product.

I think the only missing piece here is the software, and we are completely in the dark about how good AR is in real-world scenario.


Agreed, but most of the demos seemed to be showing people using it as a consumer product at home, watching movies, sports, recording your kid’s birthday party in the creepiest possible way…

I don’t think they did a lot to show how this would be useful for professional applications. Certainly isn’t needed for a Zoom call.


Yes. I was laughing about the price, but then a friend linked me to this thread:

Basically the consumer use case is laughable, but there are repair/manufacture use cases that actually make some sense. Whether there is uptake? I don’t know, but it’s at least not facially absurd.


It really doesn’t matter how much it costs. Apple will sell a bunch to terminally early adopters, and the Applologists will run around justifying Apple’s genius until they decide to stop selling them.


That’s exactly my point- the early MP3 players were clunky, but the idea was ready for prime time, so that’s when Apple swoops in and makes the best version. Same with the iPhone. They looked at the BlackBerry and said, “this idea is huge, but the current implementation is shitty” so they jumped in.

VR/AR is not ready for prime time. Most people still get nauseous from it, the software has little to set it apart from other ways of doing things, and it’s expensive, tied down, and dorky. AR in particular will be big someday (I doubt VR ever will). The potential of it is obvious in many fields. However Apple is way, way ahead of the technology curve on this. The hardware has to be seamless and not dorky. Look at Google Glass and the shitshow that turned into. That was better implemented than this is, even, and it was a colossal failure that Google had to walk away from.


That was the PS2 announcement. For the PS3, the CEO famously said that gamers should work more hours at their jobs so they can buy one if they think it costs too much. :joy: He was trying to position it as a luxury good to justify the price, but it was one of the most hamfisted attempts to do that in history.

They knew they were in trouble even before they announced it, hence the very defensive sounding announcement speech linked above. The whole speech is basically apologizing for, and trying to justify, the insane price.


At a certain level, it’s funny that they even get lumped together, as they present such different promises. VR represents a total escape from the real world whereas AR is an enhancement of and a deeper dive into the world in front of you, or at least has the potential to be. Especially given the case studies in the thread that @bottleimp posted that paint a picture of a thoroughly annotated world. AR is almost hyperlocal where VR is hyper-dislocated (even if you use VR to float over a 3D map of the world, or some other reality-esque activity.)


Absolutely! They really only get lumped together for technical reasons, because the hardware and software stack are largely similar for both.

Not that it’s a competition per se, but AR is quietly winning. It’s finding simple practical niches everywhere. You can already use it in apps on your phone to measure a room, try out a piece of furniture before you buy it, try on clothes before you buy them, etc. Meanwhile VR remains the realm of some sorta neat tech demo games you can play for ten minutes at a time between vomits. I don’t see VR doing anything else any time soon.


I can imagine a killer app being as simple as “tooltips” for unfamiliar environments, with basic notification like “this is a pull door, not a push door.” heaven knows, even gifted tech developers should appreciate that…


Of course, not for $3,500 clams, not sure how that’s going to pan out without some pretty enticing preloaded software.


I don’t know if anyone’s actually tried to roll out something like this, but having an AR or head mounted display that lets you look at the piece of equipment you are trying to repair, and have the repair documentation sitting there, or an exploded/interactive view of how the parts fit together in situ is one I can think would be an interesting use case.


Definitely! Or automatic in-world translation of signage in a foreign country. Another common example given is when working on your car, the service manual would be overlaid, identifying all the parts and explaining procedures as you go. A similar thing could be done for surgeons, technicians at power plants, and many other fields. Contractors could have the blueprints for the house laid out on the ground and literally build to the lines. Machinists could have the final part projected on to the material so they can plan their operations.

Incredible applications for AR write themselves as soon as you start thinking about even a tiny bit. It has absolutely world-changing potential.

NONE of that will happen if people have to wear goddam ski goggles.