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Cheaper Vision Pro could require tether to iPhone or Mac – report

The ‘cheaper’ version of the Apple Vision Pro could come with significant trade-offs, according to a new report.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says a more affordable Vision Pro may need to be tethered to an iPhone or a Mac. That would negate the need for the Vision Pro to have such powerful processors inside the headset itself and potentially enable the price to be cut significantly.

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As the user has already has to carry a battery pack tethered to the headset, adding an iPhone in the same pocket wouldn’t be too big of a burden for users. A Mac, on the other hand, would be limit the ability for users to move around wearing the Vision Pro, akin to the PlayStation VR range

According to the latest Power On newsletter, a lower-cost device (codenamed N107, sources say), would also have a narrower field of vision than the original. Apple hasn’t said just how wide the field of view is, but it’s thought to be around 100-degrees.

“Prototypes of the N107 also have a narrower field of view than the Vision Pro. And the company is considering making the device reliant on a tethered Mac or iPhone,” Gurman wrote. “That would let Apple save money on the processing power and components needed to make the Vision Pro a fully standalone product.”

Gurman says the product might be available by the end of next year, but didn’t offer anything in terms of pricing. Earlier this month we reported on speculation Apple had canned the high-end Vision Pro 2 in favour of the cheaper option.

However, Gurman reports it was always Apple’s plan to build a cheaper version before a full second generation model. Gurman says that model is currently considered “less of a priority” but is still being worked on. Gurman reckons it’ll be 2026 at the earliest before it arrives.

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