The Apple Vision Pro is far more expensive than its mixed-reality rivals. At $3,499, you could purchase seven Meta Quest 3s or three $999 Meta Quest Pro headsets with $499 to spare. The exorbitant price tag has sparked a lot of controversy across social media. Which begs the question, why is it so expensive?
The short answer is that it probably costs a fortune for Apple to produce. Featuring juiced-up M2 and R1 chips inside, plus a dozen high-resolution cameras, a bunch of sensors, and ultra-high-resolution dual displays, the costs quickly start adding up. And not forgetting to mention the amount of research and development it took to produce the darn thing. For example, Apple says it has filed over 5,000 patents related to Vision Pro. That’s a lot of time, money, and resources.
Nevertheless, a recent teardown by iFixit reveals that those near-4K displays could be the main reason why the headset retails at such an eye-watering price tag. Upon inspection, it was revealed that each display outputs a crispy 3660×3200 ultra-high resolution.
This equates to a pixels-per-inch rating (PPI) of 3,386, way beyond anything Apple’s rivals can put together. As a comparison, the Meta Quest 3 is almost three times lower at 1,218PPI. This means that the Vision Pro can output about 11.4 million pixels per eye. I see Apple is rounding up to its claim of 23 million total pixels across both screens. In essence, it is miles ahead of the competition, and it costs Apple a pretty penny to produce.
There are a bunch more interesting titbits in the accompanying article, including a breakdown of the eyepieces from lenses and sensors to displays. Plus, a battery breakdown reveals the return of the dread lightning connector. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest to fix if something goes wrong. The tech experts gave the Vision Pro an overall repairability score of 4/10. You better be careful with it.
All in all, when it comes to visual fidelity, it’s no surprise that Apple pulled out all the stops. You get what you pay for with spatial computing goggles. Whether it’s worth the price tag, however, is ultimately for you to decide.