Vision Pro Gen 2 rumored for 2026; Apple searching for less expensive Micro OLEDs

Chia-Han Lee, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Latest reports indicated that Apple is developing a new iteration of its mixed reality (MR) headset Vision Pro but it may not be available until the end of 2026 at the earliest.

According to reports from Bloomberg, 9to5Mac, and Wccftech, despite Vision Pro seeing a gradual decline in sales and even some returns, Apple's commitment to the long-term goal of "spatial computing" development remains steadfast. It has continued to invest in new products and technological R&D, pledging that it will create the most suitable and outstanding device on the market.

However, general analyses believe that for Vision Pro to become a mass-market product and rapidly penetrate the market, the first problem Apple needs to solve is very clear: the high price of US$3,499. To address this, Apple must reduce component costs as much as possible. However, according to previous teardown analysis reports, the current hardware cost of Vision Pro is estimated to be as high as US$1,542. Lowering the price to the range of the Meta Quest Pro (US$999) will be rather difficult.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, besides the existing supplier in Sony, Apple is attempting to bring in more Micro OLED panel suppliers. It is currently evaluating two Chinese companies, with the condition that their quality needs to meet Apple's standards.

Previously, The Information reported that these two Chinese panel suppliers could be SeeYA Technology and BOE. This move aims to reduce the cost of the current Sony 4K Micro OLED panel, which costs US$350 per panel (each Vision Pro requires two panels). The goal is to reduce it by at least half.

In other words, lowering the manufacturing cost of Vision Pro will largely depend on the cost of Micro OLED and whether or not Apple chooses to use lower-cost OLED displays, despite potentially sacrificing resolution, lightweight, and comfort.

Reports indicate that Apple's product roadmap for Extended Reality (XR) devices does not specify launching the second-generation Vision Pro by the end of 2026, but this is the direction Apple is currently working towards. One key factor for this is evaluating whether the price of the second-generation Vision Pro can be lowered to a range of US$1,500 to US$2,500.

Moreover, there are rumors that Apple may launch an affordable MR device as early as 2025, which will have significant differences from Vision Pro. For instance, it could use the iPhone's A-series chips instead of the Mac's M-series chips. It could also use LCDs instead of dual 4K Micro OLEDs.

Apple may also consider removing the external display for the EyeSight function to further reduce costs. This product's primary purpose will be to boost sales and expand the visionOS ecosystem.

Besides new products, Vision Pro is also expected to continue to enter more markets by the end of 2024, including China, which is expected to boost overall sales performance.