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Isn’t That Spatial?

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on June 9, 2023

This millennium, Apple has introduced a string of landmark products: the definitive portable music player, the most popular tablet computer, those ubiquitous wireless earbuds, an iconic lightweight laptop and the standard issue coder’s laptop, a new way to pay, a smartwatch that outsells the entire Swiss watch industry. And the iPhone, the most successful consumer product in history. That track record, not the product, is what made Monday’s mixed-reality headset announcement so compelling.

The Vision Pro is a technical achievement: Marques Brownlee said the positive aspects were “the best I have seen in any VR headset by a mile” and Robin Roberts looked as if she would hug Tim Cook after her demo. My youngest has already asked for one.


Yet I believe these $3,500 ski goggles will be the company’s first major commercial failure of the century. The device will age as well as candy cigarettes — and Tim Cook knows it. He’s reportedly been skeptical of the product, and he never donned the device during the keynote or the “hands-on” session afterward. Can you imagine Steve Jobs wearing the Vision Pro … ever?

Cook reveres Jobs, and Jobs’s signature management principle was “focus means saying no.” So why did the greatest CEO in history, as measured by shareholder value added, green light the Ishtar of computing products? Hubris, a shift in our culture, and an existential struggle with Mr. Cook’s enemy. Hint: It’s not Microsoft.


Betting against a first-generation Apple product is a bad trade — from infamous dismissals of the iPhone to disappointment with the original iPad. In fact, this is a reflection of Apple’s strategy: Start with a product that’s more an elegant proof-of-concept than a prime-time hit; rely on early adopters to provide enough runway for its engineers to keep iterating; and trust in unmatched capital, talent, brand equity, and staying power to morph a first-gen toy into a third-gen triumph. So the critical question isn’t if the Vision Pro itself is a great product (it’s not) but whether it has the genes for success.

I See Dead Products

If you peer around enough corners, you’ll start seeing things that aren’t there. Headsets are a bad form factor, full stop, and no headset-based product will achieve mass adoption.

The obstacles are seeded deep in our DNA. We’re highly discerning about what we put on our face, as it must enhance, not impair our ability to assert dominance, attract mates, and make connections. Jewelry signals wealth and strength. The $250 billion cosmetics industry helps us mimic visual cues for health and reproductive fertility. There is no version of a headset or goggles that makes us seem more appealing. None.

Headsets obstruct our peripheral vision, exposing us to stalking predators. Also, they’re uncomfortable. We are a long way from making three screens, a glass shield, and an array of supporting hardware light enough to wear for an extended period. Reviewers were (purposefully) allowed to wear the Vision Pro for less than half an hour, and nearly every one said comfort was declining even then. Avatar: The Way of Water is 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Bad but Expensive

Consumer culture, income inequality, and Bernard Arnault have dulled our response to pricing pain, but $3,500 makes you take notice. After sales tax that’s approaching $4,000, for a product that will be obsolete in two years. Two grand a year rivals the lease payments on an entry-level car. Back at HQ, the iPhone, possibly the most utile product in history, costs $1,000 and is viable for three-plus years. Splurging on an 85-inch 4K flat-screen TV will cost you $1,500, but it will last about seven years, and your entire family gets to watch at the same time.

The nosebleed price limits trial, even by influencers and institutions. Media companies and design schools aren’t going to buy several of these; they won’t be handed out at all-hands or to the person who was closest to the pin at the company off-site. The price will come down, but even at $2,500, will this replace all your Apple products? That’s still more than an iPhone, Macbook Air, Apple Watch, Airpods Pro, and four Airtags. This isn’t spatial computing, it’s spatial consumption.

Missed Connections

The Vision Pro was developed and approved for production in a different time. Covid meant a product designed to use alone at home was appealing. Knowledge workers were working at home, and a reasonable view, notably in Silicon Valley, was that this was the new normal.

But society is recoiling from the isolation era. The dangers of isolation and loneliness have eclipsed the threat of viral contagion. The Surgeon General has declared an epidemic of loneliness. The Times reporter who tried the Vision Pro noted his visceral response upon returning to virtual isolation: “I could feel myself shutting down.”

The Vision Pro demo video is a Covid time capsule: a parade of solitary, indoor individuals. The brief family scenes are cringe-worthy. My sons get pissed off when I keep my airpods in at a football match, but we’re going to wear headsets at our kids’ birthday parties?


For the first quarter-century of its existence, Apple was defined as much by its competition with Microsoft as its products and advertising. But the two titans settled into an armistice. For a time, it looked like upstart Google would be Apple’s nemesis, but that rivalry didn’t stick either: each business is so successful in its own domain, the conflict isn’t worth the ammunition. This town (Earth) turns out to be big enough for both of them.

However, Tim Cook loathes Mark Zuckerberg. Publicly, Cook’s veins run ice cold. Nothing is personal. He smiled when Trump called him “Tim Apple,” and gave the president a tour of Apple’s Texas factory. But Cook let the mask slip in response to a question about how he’d act in Zuckerberg’s position vis-à-vis privacy — “I wouldn’t be in this situation” — before plunging a $10 billion shiv in Meta’s back, requiring apps to ask iPhone users for affirmative consent to tracking.

The grudge match isn’t personal, it’s existential. Meta’s singular strategic objective is to escape second-tier status and, like Apple and Alphabet, control its distribution. And its path to independence runs through Apple Park. Zuckerberg is spending the GDP of a small country to invent a new world, the metaverse, where Apple doesn’t own the roads or power stations. Vision Pro is insurance against the metaverse evolving into anything more than an incel panic room.


Apple doesn’t have to own the headset category to win the war against Meta, or even sell that many. The company just has to keep the category unsettled and splintered so Meta doesn’t own it. It has the cash to play spoiler — it generates over $100 billion per year in free cash flow, more than enough to engage in a high-cost, low-ROI arms race.

Sunday, Meta’s Oculus was a mediocre product but still best-in-class. Just 24 hours later, it was the Yugo of tech hardware. Half the memes on Twitter this week were some variation of “lol Zuck big mad.” Sure, the Vision Pro is 7x the price of the forthcoming Oculus 3, but consumers believe the price will come down, developers want to design for the highest-quality product, and engineers want to work on it. After 30 minutes in the Vision Pro, influential tech reviewer David Pogue wrote that the display resolution was so clear it made the displays in the Oculus “look like a screen door.” This may be the first product in history that’s primary purpose is to remind consumers who can’t afford it how crappy the competition they can afford really is.


Three years ago, the Apple product people expected was the Apple Car. The car likely isn’t dead, it just isn’t the company’s focus and won’t be coming soon. But as bad as the timing was for a headset, it’s that good for a car. The EV market is on fire, with unit sales expected to increase 36% in 2023. (AR/VR headset units declined 20% in 2022 and are expected to rise only modestly in 2023.) And it’s anyone’s game. Tesla is vulnerable, its design getting stale and its CEO unwinding 280 characters at a time.

The waiting list for an Apple Car announced this week would have been the most valuable asset ever created in the absence of the asset. It’s not unrealistic to believe that Apple could entice 7% of EV buyers on Day 1. At a sticker price of $100,000, that’s $100 billion. Think about this. In 24 hours, one of the largest-revenue businesses in history could have illuminated a path to 30% revenue growth. That’s the true cost of the Vision Pro.

(Note: I find it comforting to see smart people make stupid mistakes.)


I believe the Vision Pro will be remembered as a Neanderthal, an evolutionary dead end — a heavy, thick-browed experimental species destined for extinction. Admittedly, there’s a bias here. I am troubled by the direction this and other tech platforms and products are taking us. Covid didn’t cause social distancing, the tech industry did. We are mammals, and mammals suffer when we are not in the physical presence of other mammals — whether you are an orca isolated in a tank, a dog left at home alone, or a consumer sequestered behind your latest expensive gadget. Real grief, rejection, joy, eroticism, victory, and love are experienced in the presence of others. Headsets render us nauseous, uncomfortable, and alone. Worse, they make us less human.

Life is so rich,

P.S. More on why I think the Vision Pro will not be successful on this week’s Prof G Pod, a conversation with NYU colleague Adam Alter on his latest book, “Anatomy of a Breakthrough,” and what to do about feeling stuck.

P.P.S. Join our free event on How to Build a More Diverse Leadership Team next Thursday. Sign up here.



  1. Bubbles ChowChow says:

    Scott’s sentiment is valid . . . though the decision framework cited is best presented as multi-tiered.
    It is important to note that Apple’s DNA is declared as best product that enriches people’s lives.
    And this product deviates from the Apple corporate DNA significantly.
    And to what degree this impacts Apple’s corporate psyche/culture/decision-making going forward would be reflected in their sustainable corporate advantage (or alpha).

    Of course, there are other strategic considerations . . . but there have always been other considerations . . .

    AppleWatch was not that dissimilar … it took perseverance to get it going … and here, Apple is likely to prevail in the category despite the initial error? (look at the balance sheet?).

  2. Jason W. says:

    There’s an awful lot riding on the third-party developer community to be incentivized to adopt visionOS and their SDK as the platform that finally sticks. Will developers actually sit there and wear the thing for which they’re actually engineering products and experiences? Meta’s own people didn’t. What about content studios? This is a very difficult time to rally anyone away from their core business priorities.

  3. Shawn says:

    Two currently bad (potentially harmful) technologies fused to two future super awesome technologies. When I’m sitting in my fully autonomous car I’ll be wearing something on my face to get work done and entertain.

  4. Austin Curley says:

    Google pay 95$ consistently my last pay check was $8200 working 10 hours out ofevery week on the web. My more young kin buddy has been averaging 15k allthrough ongoing months and he works around 24 hours consistently. I can’tconfide in how straightforward it was once I endeavored it out.This is myprimary concern………..




  5. Tony says:

    Warren Beatty wants a word with you.

  6. Marc Doyle says:

    This product is the Tim Cook retirement signature product. His legacy of shareholder value accretion is none other, but his main holdup is the signature product. This is what gives me pause on this product – that is was rushed to meet Tim’s retirement plans.

    I agree that Steve Jobs would never wear the headset, but I could argue that Tim Cook’s Apple is less creative focused (than in Job’s) but more engineering focused. Meaning that Tim Cook’s Apple can WILL products into existence through the best industrial engineering and supplier management on the planet where Job’s Apple had to be creative with what was already on the market. Look at what Apple has done with chips, FaceID (there is no FaceID competition – it uses lasers!) and the W2 chip in the AirPods. I haven’t tried the glasses and won’t buy this first iteration, but Apple deserves the benefit of the doubt. We can doubt them when they make a flop, until then…

  7. Vishesh Parikh says:

    Scott, as always, I find your thoughts provocative, and refreshing, funny and original. The language is colorful. Nice to see this. In the case of Apple, though, I think this move is a step in the direction of a hands-free future. I don’t think Apple itself is thinking that this the right form factor for a mixed reality (sorry spatial computing) platform, even though in one stroke they have the best product in the market. They are not stupid or ignorant. But over time they tend to dramatically improve their products and if the market bears out, they will. I do think that they will be moving to a hands free interaction with all of their devices and wearables.

  8. Andrew Pengelly says:

    I agree they will not be a big seller however there are a few niche markets that will buy them. These are:

    * Gamers – I am always surprised at how much these people spend on their kit.
    * Corporate – VR is a big part of product design process these days
    * Educational – VR training is already here and this takes it up a notch.

  9. Anthony Zackin says:

    Scott, I think you are being too myopic. $3500 is a bit pricey for most of us but this is only the first generation. This particular model may not be a success but in a few years, as others have noted, with many improvements, this could be a big success. That being said I want to point out a way that even the current product, which looks terrific from the 9 minute ad I saw on YouTube, could be a commercial success despite the price point. Remember the days of internet cafes? Why not VR cafes? If I have to pay almost $20 to see a movie in NYC why wouldn’t I pay a little more to watch with a VR headset in a comfortable venue with reclining seats and a cash bar? This could be the new theater of the future with much less overhead for the theater and the ability to provide virtually unlimited content. In other words, individuals don’t need to buy these things, they can just rent them for the experience.

  10. Steve Berexa says:

    Headsets are a cosmetic disaster? Don’t forget they can project an idealized (younger) image of your eyes, the most obvious sign of aging that’s most difficult to address with cosmetics. In 5+ years when Vision Pro is light and more like wraparound sunglasses, it’ll be obvious that Apple wasn’t just thinking about people making eye contact in the office. Also – it’s going to be great to drive with, when integrated with all the external cameras they put on cars anyway – we’ll have jet pilot enhanced imagery just as a quarter of the population is over 70.

  11. Saw Your Rant says:

    Saw your latest rant. I will point out that I tried to find work from home a while back when I was having a rough patch and in a bullying situation that followed me. I work when I can, but there’s nothing full-time that way, and I can’t get into an office. Today, a woman who joined in the bullying of me is looking for a full-time at home job because she’s having problems coping post-pandemic. She’s a few years younger; her generation is said to have taken working at home as a signal to not really work. If she and others hadn’t bullied me, I might have landed more work from home, and I’d have done it well, proving it could be done.

  12. John Jacobs says:

    If the meeting app works well, would be interesting to see how it might work in a university setting. These days $3500 is less than the cost of one class for a semester. Glasses could be used to “attend” the class/lecture from anywhere. Wrapped into the cost of college the $3500 is a drop in the bucket.

  13. Brandon Carson says:

    I get some of what you’re saying, but your apocalyptic prediction is overblown. First, it’s a gadget. One among many that we will leverage for entertainment. Your vision of its impact on humanity is Orwellian and way off. It provides an individual yet another way to compute. Don’t make it what it’s not. At the price point, it will draw early adopters and then Apple will decide if it scales. What’s nice is to see their focus on design and quality extend to a new platform for entertainment. Not everything has to be monumental — it’s a conveyance mechanism for entertainment — that’s all.

    • Stephen Klein says:

      At the outset the $4k cost of entry is a marketing plus. These will be must-have road warrior status symbols. No Accenture, McKinsey etc dude will be caught dead on a plane NOT working feverishly with one of these things strapped to their head. No one will want to look like the poor schmuck who can’t afford one.

  14. Gordon says:

    Interesting points – if you look at it at pre-entry, before trying it, and before listening to the hidden strategy.

    You mention social aspects as your number 1 reason it will fail. Gaming is done individually. Telephone calls and FaceTime calls – mostly individually. Did you notice the amount of hours spent in creating the best avatar I have ever seen ? Why is that ? To look at yourself ? This is prone to replace business calls and eventually social calls.

    Social boundaries will fall when 3 people meet in VR with avatars that are nearly perfect and do things together as well.

    So yes, in the scenario of a family social and physical gathering, this won’t work. (They are dreaded by most – so not sure it’s a failure there) . But it just opens an incredible virtual social.

    And what to say about the ability to view games from ANY angle, any replay ? Will it replace going to a bar and watching games together ? No. But if I’m alone, it’s the best way to view games.

    I’m not saying it is a home run – but on the other hand , either can you argue it’s a miss. I see 70% things that are cutting edge.

    Time will tell.

  15. Peter says:

    My take is that the design will change over time from “ski goggles” to “ski glasses” and we will be using them outdoors. Then they will be a hit.

  16. C Cook says:

    Define ‘successful’? We can in 10 years. I can say first hand, I was there, Mac was not a ‘successful’ product, first iteration. Or, for many, even the second.. By the time MacSE hit the streets, they had worked through true believers and were on to mass market. Apple likes to put a stake in the ground, establish themselves as ‘players’. Usually after others released innovative but incomplete versions. Think MP3 player or Kindle tablets. Apple may also be ‘incomplete’ but will show the path to completeness.

    Maybe this is the first failure of the Cook era. In any case, little will be lost if it is. And, a failure will poison the well for others who may try to end run Apple in the future. Apple can ‘complete’ this class of product, while startups die for lack of funding competitive offerings.

    Apple gets ‘written off’ every year after WWDC. And, they continue to grow every year. The will stumble at some point, but I doubt it will be for a while. And not while Tim Cook is running things.

  17. Mike says:

    The World don’t become a better place with this product. We create more e-waste. That’s it.
    It is NOT sustainable. Try to save the planet Big Tech – this would be a great investment for all of us.
    Less is more.

  18. Tom says:

    If it works for porn (i.e. enhances the porn experience), it will be a hit. (This is what a friend told me).

  19. Alrac says:

    Reading these comments I’m impressed how linked in respondents are to gadget-ecstasy and entertainment. I get the gamers’ interest. I know many–full on fraternities to weekend dabblers. But I always wonder what else gamers do in life, other than…live inside their games? discuss their gadgets? (EV cars to watches that watch the user) and yearn for the next big gadget thrill?
    I often ask my students to describe how their deeply personal cellphone works. They have no idea what I’m saying, that is, they do not understand my words. I’m in the process of concluding that we are going binary in this sense: those of us exist in an Elsewhere relying solely on the fear-based survival thrills of electrons and those of us who prefer to own our Reality. I think, too, that Marshall was right: it IS the medium that will ever matter most.

  20. Frank Wright says:

    Maybe not great for social atmospheres, but for productivity in deep work, what gets better than this?

  21. Fisht says:

    VR was never what the idiots like you thought it would/should be. VR is a gaming device like a Joystick, lol. VR has a place but things like Chat isn’t it. This constant VR bashing by LowIQ media Commies is comical.

    • Anthony says:

      If you think that prof Galloway is a “low IQ media Commie” then you have clearly never listened to the man. Don’t critique what you don’t know.

  22. Daniel Fell says:

    There was also the failed Newton, but I tend to agree on the likely outcome for now. I think we are years away from consumers adopting the this wearable tech in any mass market shift.

    • Fisht says:

      It is for gaming and has already been widely adopted. Apple isn’t a gaming company. You Progressives are seriously broken on every level.

      • Bisht says:

        Bringing a political slant to every comment doesn’t make you erudite. You’re just a small-minded bish without a real argument

  23. TheMikeReed says:

    Technology should enhance the human experience, not replace it. The steady drumbeat of AI in the background should be the alert that we need more “we”, and less “me”…

    • Fisht says:

      Says every lowIQ Communist ever. You can leave and find your Commie utopia in China..

      • Runewell says:

        Funny thing is, they have to use the technology they espouse to hate in order to even be part of the conversation. They act like claiming “we need less tech” is some revolutionary concept. It’s actually the most common, boring, and hypocritical statement one could have online. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it and move on. You’re not going to convince people to have a life change because you’re feeling old and hate change. Change is constant.

  24. Dmill says:

    Scott Galloway…..has never seen a glass that isn’t half empty.

  25. Dave says:

    Scott, I usually completely agree with your thoughts. However, I think you’re wrong on Apple. However, I’m a nobody, so let me quote Gene Munster, one of the greatest Apple analysts over the last 10+ years. He said this morning in his weekly email: “I believe it will account for 10% of all Apple sales in 2030.” So, I’d like to make you a bet. If, in 2030, it’s not a failure, you buy me the current version of the Vision Pro. And if you’re right, and it’s a failure, I’ll buy you anything of your choice, at a price equaling the (then) current price of the Vision Pro. What say you? (You don’t know me, but you have my email and I’m a big fan of yours. I was reading your book when you boarded the Jetblue flight from Florida years ago and I asked for you to sign your book:). Have a great weekend.

  26. Nick Nolan says:

    Consumer VR/AR is gaming, or nothing at all.

    The only product category where VR makes difference is good VR games. Price is not limiting factor, the quality of VR experience is.

    Beat Saber is good and fun and physical exercise. Half Life: Alyx, is amazing. VR completely supercharges horror games, and scary stalking shooters. Want to fear of your life and get PTSD in the comfort of your home? You can do it. Games can connect people and provide physical exercise.

    If the 3rd iteration of Vision Pro is good for 2 hours of playing for $2000 Apple will kill the console market. Playstations no more.

    Apple is not a gaming company, but if Vision Pro becomes better and slightly cheaper, Apple becomes gaming company against its will.

  27. Gary says:

    My favourite line….
    “(Note: I find it comforting to see smart people make stupid mistakes.)”
    Maybe they are not much cleverer than us (mere mortals) after all 🙂

  28. Ark says:

    Horrible take. It’s a VR headset. There’s a reason the demo was shown in a home environment. Nobody expects anyone to walk around town in a headset. So why do any of those factors you mentioned matter one bit? This is apple’s entry into the VR space. For those who enjoy VR gaming and those who maybe want a unique home PC experience, the vision pro is a magnificent achievement. You are looking at this device all wrong. Nobody is planning on walking around town in an apple vision pro, like you imply.

  29. Gabe Marzano says:

    I’m looking forward to Prof G’s 2023 year in Review when he marks himself on the accuracy of his precision that the Vision Pro is a mass failure

  30. Peter Rivera says:

    I am surprised no one has brought up the Microsoft Hololens, which had many of these features literally 10 years ago. The issue in all this is the form factor, a heavy barnacle on your face. It is tiring. Also, who wants to watch movies like this? Trust me, it gets old fast. Microsoft talked this aspect up as well and it didn’t work then. I am a hard pass until version 3 and until it is truly lighter, interactive, and under 2k. Even then…

  31. Robert Routson says:

    Now I can wear these goggles while using my Peloton or in conjunction with my quadraphonic stereo or Beta Max.

  32. Bela Schweiger says:

    Professor Galloway, I respect your perspective and point of view on the Apple Vision Pro. As concerns your sweeping statements about its abysmal features and quality, did you have the luck to try one? I would have loved to be among the fortunate few who were given the chance. I wonder why in today’s world it is so much fun for people to sarcastically berate anything and everything in sight that they have never even tried. Perhaps, the Apple Vision Pro is a fascinating new experience to get into Apple’s Walled Garden of ever-increasing high-quality content.
    This commentary lives up to one part of your motto: no mercy, I am not sure about the second one;)

  33. RT says:

    Well said – as a product. So let’s look at it as a tool – Solidworks right now is thousands of dollars and companies all over the world designing new products think nothing of sinking 15, 25, 100’s of thousands into tools for its designers, so a $3,500 tool for designing is not a bad option. And if we look at apps like Gravity Sketch which is based on the “other headset”, we see that there could be worlds of improvement there for designers designing new things – oh designing a car? a car interior? how does it feel?I don’t know,he’ll get in it, sit in its you’re in 3-D already FFS!
    So yes as a product it may not be a game changer but as a tool for designers and for people that create things it might be a real game changer. We’ll wait and see.

  34. J Scott Christianson says:

    Look at the cash that Apple has. They could fail many many times and it would not cost them much. Some might argue that they need to take more risks. I had my crackberry in 2007/2008 and though the iphone was stupid. But it got better, and then better, and then better. So it is hard to tell where they are headed. I think you are making way too much out of this product. It Apple speaker and Apple TV a hit? so, so. But now Apple TV+ has taken over the same role in the media ecosystem that HBO had, so perhaps these ski googles will lead to something interesting. When they lose 100 billion on a project, then I will be worried…

  35. Simon says:

    Many salient ideas here Scott. One thing perhaps you are forgetting is the millions of teenage boys who sit in a dark room, alone with their PS5 or XBox whatever for hours playing games. I think this device may become a game changer for that application, especially once it is iterated at a lower price. How long did it take the iPhone to iterate into an accessible consumer device? At least 5 years… In the meantime many professionals will take advantage of this in their work environment.

  36. BRAD says:

    The price is not $3500 but only $24.99 a month. (probably)

    • Bisht says:

      More like $99/mo for 36 mos

    • Dan W says:

      This is exactly right. People are too consumed with sticker shock for retail price versus how they’ll actually pay. Apple has systematically built a hardware-as-a-service monthly payment program, first with iPhone Upgrade and now on Mac. You will buy the Vision Pro for $150/mo for 24-months. At the end Apple will offer you $1000 towards the next generation, refurbish the device and resell Vision Pro (2023) for $1999 to a new buyer — this will also be offered via installment on Apple Credit. In 3-5 years the build of material will take retail down to $2399 or $99/mo. This will be a mainstreaming inflection point.

      Apple will use the same “low end iPhone” i.e. a 2-3 year old formerly top-of-the-line or reconditioned to go downmarket at hardware/pricing levels competitors will struggle to match, while also growing the service/app ecosystem.

      Like GM was support through GMAC financing, Apple will leverage its new financial services arm and established reconditioning program to establish an n of 1 hardware market.

  37. Tom Toth says:

    Virtual reality goggles will take off when they incorporate a full VR body suit that allows for stimulation of you body, especially certain parts of your body.

    Imagine VR goggles and suit with an interface that allows you to select the attributes you desire for your VR sexual partner.

    They will fly off the shelf/web page.

  38. Barry Weinman says:


  39. james mcglynn says:

    I just listened to you bemoan Apple and other tech companies who want us to leave the planet or enter the metaverse. Then I heard an advertisement for Peloton which you have liked many a moon. Isn’t Peloton a way to escape human interaction also???

  40. Peter Eklind says:

    Maybe Apple has built the head to Tesla’s Optimus…?

  41. JC Wandemberg says:

    “Headsets render us nauseous, uncomfortable, and alone. Worse, they make us less human.” I could not have put it better Scott!

  42. Alin Buda says:

    For decades now,
    We have been interacting with machines via keyboards and mice.
    We have been typing one letter after another just to form a word and this word to be printed on the screen. We we have been using what we called a mouse on a horizontal plane just to make something move on a vertical plane on a screen in front of us.
    In 2007 the world has learned that the screen can be touched in a creative and efficient way.
    In 2010 the world Took that learning one step further on a bigger canvas which was the iPad.
    For a while now many have tried to create a different way to interact with machines.
    With spatial computing, we have a fantastic opportunity to move away from keyboard and mouse.
    We’ve got the opportunity to finally put together gesture Voice and typing in the air as a foundation for this new type of interaction.
    As I’m dictating this message here, I get excited only to the thought that I can witness this milestone.
    20 years from now vision pro might be dead or be a success but no one can change the fact that this product Will be one of the reasons we will look back and say how the fuck did we use buttons for so long and only buttons.
    You are right Scott, Life is so rich.
    Emoticon 🙂

  43. Tony says:

    This will not age well.

  44. Tim says:

    Honestly since Jobs died, what innovation has taken place at Apple? A watch, headphones and now a headset. Pretty pathetic when you measure those on the scale of truly unique and visionary. When Jobs died so did the true innovation of any products that would make you say ” I didn’t know I needed that but I have to have it now”. Everything they have done is either copying someone else or making their current products bigger, smaller, better resolution, new color. What utter BS (to coin a Scott term) from a company that has the financial resources of a top 10 country. The company is run by a bunch of MBAs who have no vision. Reminds me of quote ” If Thomas Edison had an MBA, we would all be reading by larger candles.

    • Dan Theman says:

      lol. The greatest, most innovative and profitable company in the history of time. Apple is an innovation and marketing machine.

  45. John M says:

    If you can don a pair of goggles and feel like your courtside at an NBA game or on the bench of an NFL game with your friends, whereever they are, sitting right next to you, you better believe people will be buying these in droves. They can be financed, like their phones, which no one can really afford, by sports teams or concert promoters like Live Nation. It is a game changer. Im surprised you don’t see it that way.

    • Thurman says:

      I love Kansas Jayhawks basketball. I love attending home games even more. Unfortunately, with airfare, lodging, meals, ground transpiration and tickets I can go often. However, Vision Pro makes attending these games nearly “really there” experiences. Watching the first 4 games via Vision Pro pays for the device. The remaining 20+ games of the season are free (excluding subscription cost).

      Movies like Greyhound and other action/adventure series are going to amplify your experience to explosive levels. You aren’t going to watch a 2D happening on a 50” flat panel, you’re going to be immersed in the middle of the action on a life sized screen. Initial bugs and all I’m buying the first release, just as I bought an iPhone on launch day, and never looked back.

      I like Scott’s reviews, but this one reads like he wrote it after reading reviews by others having no vision on how products can be used to improve our lives.

  46. Gillespie says:

    I agree as a consumer product. I do however think that there are many commercial applications for the product that could well make it financially viable. Think high end oil and gas visualization, Surgical resident training, servicing very complex remote devices, Drone operators, Etc. But for consumers, not so much.

  47. Ethan says:

    1. It’s not about units sold. At these prices profit margin will be much higher. Apple is the master at price strategy – trust that they know more than you.

    2. Comparing a VR Head to a EV Car is just silly. Are you suggestion that the time put into the head set would have yielded a EV that could compete with Tesla? Please.

  48. Shaan says:

    The tech needs to look, feel and weigh like a pair of glasses, full stop. Till we get there, VR/AR will never be a mainstream activity.

  49. Fernando Schmidt says:

    expensive, clumsy, short battery life.

  50. David Flannery says:

    Hi Scott – love all your insights. I watched Apple’s WWDC on Apple TV the other night and was wowed by Apple overall. I’m a power Mac user in the video production field and an iPhone owner, but no fanboi because they can go stagnant with meager OS or product updates some years. But this year was not like the last few. I feel like we got a sense of the next few years in tech by seeing their presentation.

    I am not at all into 3D glasses, headsets, VR, AR, or any of the like, despite being in a creative field. And despite my predisposition to be negative/bearish on anything headset, I was for the first time intrigued by Apple’s technology – that someone could watch a show or film in their environment or use eye movements to select Mac-based apps. For the first time, I could see PRACTICAL usage of this product recognizing it might be a generation away both in terms of support by apps and cost to us, potential users. It just seems that the opposite of pursuing this product would be to cede it to competitors – be it Microsoft or Meta. My affinity for Apple and amazement at their success was enhanced by this week’s announcements. I can’t wait to purchase an M2 chip Mac Studio (several streams of up to 8K video!), and upgrade to IOS17 on a brand-new iPhone (I’m long overdue for the next phone). Prior to this week, I’d been bored by Apple but not anymore. I think they’re on fire and will make us all much more productive with this year’s tech.

  51. greg says:

    The definitive portable music player? Yipes. There’s more than a hint of historical revisionism in there though. Apple was a follower to a dozen other companies for the portable mp3 player before they came out with the iPod. You may want to give them some timing slack before they create historical revisionism again.

    • GH says:

      He said definitive, not first. I had some of those original mp3 players, and they were awful in comparison to the iPod. Same with “smartphones” pre-iPhone.

  52. Mort says:

    Isn’t there a very plausible scenario where this product generates interest in the product category and people end up buying the Quest 3 because it’s affordable? The Quest 3 might not be as good, but I’m sure it’s an excellent piece of kit for the price, like the Quest 2.

  53. Matt says:

    I think this is step 1, whereas a few steps down the road will be a “room” like in Star Trek. So I’m not betting on the product, but the technology behind the product. As for marketing, Apple will have their loyals that are trend setters, no need to be the floor of the market, v2 might be a subscription based model to make it more affordable? I had the ishuffle for my runs back in the day and still have it, but I don’t think it made your list.

  54. Peter says:

    I’m not sure I share your confidence that an Apple car would be such a hit, and certainly not at $100k (the car equivalent of $3500, if not worse). While yes there is a lot of software and processors in a car, there is also a lot of stuff Apple has no interest or expertise in. Not to mention a LOT of pesky government regulations, approvals and testing that I can’t see them loving. I also don’t see what they would do that would be revolutionary. What would the car analogy of iPhone vs flip-phone be? Maybe a flying car? Dear god I hope it’s not just more screens! (The screen is the worst part of driving a Tesla, no contest). If they want to get into the car business, they should just buy Tesla, paint them all white and slap a glowing Apple logo on the “frunk”.

  55. Ethan Rapp says:

    The missing element in your analysis, which is neither unreasonable nor unlikely, is AI. When you start thinking about the applications of combining AI with VisionOS you get to “Ready Player One” very quickly. And then well beyond that concept thought up in the ’80s. (PS Don’t discount the adoption catalyst for any new consumer technology (TV, VCR, Internet, etc…Adult entertainment)

  56. Michael says:

    Scott, as compelling as the argument you laid out, your skepticism is probably mistaken.

    In any knowledge industry, we spend a lot of time on the computer – many of us using multiple monitors in our work. With a headset that allows for multiple screens, $3,500 is a steal. It would replace the computer, all of the monitors, and the accessories that go with a computer. It is even mobile, so we are not limited by a desktop.

  57. Jerry says:

    Vision Pro = Newton…maybe, actually I hope so! More people living in an artificial world is less people knowing life is so rich.

  58. Chris says:

    Scott, you note it’s dangerous to bet against Apple, and hence, I do admire the balls you have to lay out a compelling argument for Vision Pro’s failure. However, what would constitute “success”? It seems to me there are use cases that could still generate millions of units in sales, and that Apple will not only create yet another multi-billion dollar business, but own the lions share of profit in the category. Is part of your skepticism a result of how high the bar has been set by iPhone, et al? In a world with 8 billion people, if Vision Pro only sells 10 million units a year and yet still becomes a business worth tens of billions, is that really a failure?

    • Eric Pease says:

      only likely use case at this time is watching porn. but how sad it would be to pay $3500 to watch porn at home with your goggles on

  59. Peter Maloof says:

    Hi Scott – On this you’ll be wrong. GenZ has already been living part of their lives in the metaverse. Hell, I’m your age and I spend time there too – riding in Zwift’s “Watopia” with a community from around the world (my “nemesis” is a Canadian). Gamification gets me up and riding during the dark winter days – until I can get outside and ride IRL.

    The downside is this will further isolate those that need to be outdoors. As you often point out, there is no substitute for getting outside and connecting with the world.

    This iteration of the headset may not be the massive hit Apple needs. But it will persist and get better.

    Tim Cook is a good CEO. But he’s an operator (a damn good one). He could have never founded Apple nor bring it back from the brink. He’s a steady hand. At least he invested some of his massive war chest in true innovation (instead of simply creating a chartreuse iPhone 15 with no appreciable improvement).

    Progress involves risk. Thank goodness Tim finally listened to someone other than the bean counters. In so doing, he at least hedges against this potentially massive market. Unlike Microsoft and the mobile revolution they nearly missed due to their arrogance.

    Looking forward to seeing you in the metaverse when you use your boys’ headset – in the privacy of your own bedroom after you’ve consumed some edibles.

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