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Meta might be shopping around for a new partner to take on Apple and its Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.
Back in June, Apple unveiled the Vision Pro headset at its Worldwide Developer Conference, its yearly event where developers and the rest of us learn about the company’s latest updates to its operating systems. In addition to showing off the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, the company also unveiled the Vision Pro and visionOS, its new operating system for spatial computing.
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It didn’t take long for the comparisons between the Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest Pro to start flying — even if no one has actually gotten their hands on Apple’s headset yet. However, even with that being the case, it seems obvious that Apple’s headset is going to absolutely annihilate the Quest Pro in almost every metric. That, in addition to the Quest Pro having a lukewarm reception on its own, is spelling bad news for Meta’s Pro mixed-reality headset.
Of course, at more than three times the price, the Apple Vision Pro SHOULD beat out the Meta Quest Pro. However, if people are comfortable paying the higher price for better hardware and features, where does that leave Meta? Apparently, it means that the company is going to chase after Apple and the higher-end price point with a new partner: LG.
As reported by UploadVR, Meta is planning to partner with LG to build multiple aspects of the Quest Pro 2 headset, including the display, battery, and more. According to the report, the next generation of the Pro headset will come in at around $2000, or $500 more than the first generation debuted.
The report says the “industry estimates” the headset could be named “Quest 4 Pro”, but this is unlikely. Analysts and reports often get the name of future products wrong while still accurately describing the device. For example, several sources suggested Quest Pro would be named “Quest 2 Pro” and that Apple Vision Pro would be called “Apple Reality Pro”. Given Meta’s current naming scheme and repeated description of Pro as a separate product line, the more likely product name would be Quest Pro 2.
While that price is still almost half of the cost of the Apple Vision Pro, I’m hoping it will mean that Meta has found ways to cut costs in some areas while still competing with Apple on where it counts. We’ll have to wait until apparently 2025 to find out! In the meantime, the Vision Pro is set to release in early 2024, so Apple will have quite a lead before Meta has a chance to take it on.
While Apple’s upcoming headset is no doubt better than the first-generation Quest Pro, costing $3500 has killed it as an option for me right now. The company is rumored to be launching a cheaper version in the next few years but, for now, I’ll likely be picking up the Quest 3 when it launches this fall after Mark Zuckerberg and friends detail it at the company’s Meta Connect event later this month. While it isn’t a “pro” headset, it still gets us a taste of mixed reality at a much more affordable price.
We’re certainly getting into a new stage of VR where the race to the bottom is seemingly over and now we’re in a race to the top. While Meta has certainly won the entry-level race, we’ll see if it can keep up with Apple in the high-end market. I personally doubt it and expect Apple to continue to gain momentum, causing Meta to eventually abandon the Quest Pro model completely. But, stranger things have certainly happened in VR — especially in Meta’s Horizon Worlds.
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