The Apple Vision Pro is The Next Newton: An Expensive Leap into Obsolescence

Apple Vision No

The Apple Vision Pro is The Next Newton: An Expensive Leap into Obsolescence
This is a model wearing the Apple Vision Pro. Now imagine what you look like in it. Source: Apple

Are you ready to get isolated?


Because that's the future Apple want. The Apple Vision Pro has now been on the market for some months, and the consensus seems to be that it's a precursor to some sort of dystopian nightmare.

Apple will claim otherwise, of course, that it's about connection. That it's a form of technology that will bring people together. But let's face it, the vast majority know that's bullshit.

VR and AR are inherently solitary experiences.

Shared post - The Apple Vision Pro: designed to make you less happy
Nothing says being a good dad like placing a barrier between you and your kids. Source: Apple

You pop a set of goggles or glasses on, and the real world fades into the periphery until, over time, it fades completely.

It might sound alarming, but it's a genuine issue.

Early adopters allegedly get so accustomed to seeing augmented screens that their minds start anticipating them even without the headset, like some Pavlovian prompt.

The Vision Pro is a prime example of how Apple, in particular, shows little concern for societal isolation.

And before you say, "But Chris! This is the first iteration of the product! It will eventually become 23% lighter, 15% smaller with a faster-"

"ap-ap-ap", I'd say. Stop right there.

It doesn't matter what form factor this thing takes, it's not the future of computing. It will forever be a plaything for rich folks. Even when the inevitable Apple Vision Air comes out, it will never reach the ubiquity of the humble smartphone or laptop.


Well, it all comes down to two main aspects. Why is this any better than traditional computing, and are we ready to give up the human connection?

Apple has been down this road before. They've tried selling products to people, like the unsuccessful Newton.

No Trainers. No Dogs. No Poors Without an Apple Vision Pro.

What It's Like Using Apple Vision Pro - by Jason Aten
Yes, this looks much more practical than... a laptop? I don't know about this... Source: Apple

The Apple Vision Pro stands poised to take centre stage, following the infamous footsteps of the Newton. If you're unfamiliar with Newton, it's widely regarded as one of Apple's biggest failures.

It had its charms and people speak highly of it today, but I can't help but feel that's more nostalgia talking than anything else. The Newton was, for all intents and purposes, a glorified personal calendar.

There was really very little you could do with it. A little like the Vision Pro. Jobs was, rather famously, not a fan.

Apple Discontinued the Newton 25 Years Ago Today - MacRumors
The Apple Newton, in all its monochrome glory. Source: MacRumors

I imagine that Jobs, deep from within the fiery pits of hell, is glancing upwardly, annoyed at much of what Apple are now, none more so than with the release of the Vision Pro.

"You're making the same mistakes as we made before," he'd exclaim.

So with that said, let's break it down. Let's have a look at the device that Apple is touting as the device to let you "have an infinite canvas that transforms how you use the apps you love."

Let's start with pricing.


At a staggering $3,500, the Vision Pro seems to misunderstand the economic climate it enters.

Much like its spiritual predecessor, the Newton, which was a "marvel" that few could afford and even fewer found use for, the Vision Pro’s cost of entry sets it up as a luxury few need and even fewer will adopt.

We live during a cost-of-living crisis, making it a challenging period to invest in high-end technology like the Vision Pro. Consumers are far, far more likely to scrutinise their purchases before pulling the trigger, especially on an unproven device.

Introducing Apple Vision Pro: Apple's first spatial computer - Apple (UK)
"You'll notice the lack of furniture in my apartment, it's because I spent my next month's wages on this headset!" Source: Apple

The current economic climate is characterised by weak economic growth, rising borrowing costs, higher taxes, and elevated living expenses. People are spending less, especially on unproven and frivolous pieces of tech.

Apple fans are starting to return their Vision Pros
That 14-day return window is fast approaching.

Unfortunately, as people often say, this is Apple's pricey initial try. Just in the same way that the Apple Newton launched at a whopping $900 ($1,932.83 adjusted for inflation), some people will flock to new tech.

But even early adopters are having issues, as reported on The Verge. "Comfort, headache, and eye strain are among the top reasons people say they’re returning their Vision Pro headsets."

The feeling of regret after buying something has, apparently, never been more physical.

While most casual Apple users wouldn't even think about trying out the Vision Pro, there will always be hardcore eager to embrace new technology, essentially volunteering to test it out for the sake of innovation, but even they have their limits.


Is this a design only its creator could love?

The Vision Pro, packed with an 8-core M2 CPU and more sensors than a high-end security vault, appears to be as cumbersome as its price. I've watched countless videos, and read countless opinions and most agree: the thing is just too damn inconvenient.

Again, from the same Verge article, “Despite being as magical to use as I’d hoped, it was simply way too uncomfortable to wear even for short periods of time both due to the weight and the strap designs. I wanted to use it, but dreaded putting it on,” a product manager at The Verge said.

For longer periods, like when you're working in a regular office, it's just too bulky to be taken seriously in that situation. Fatigue central, really, with Users on Reddit lamenting its heft, claiming it’s too heavy to wear for extended periods.

Vision Pro Will Be a Hit—Once the Apps Show Up | Deepwater
Would you use this over your phone in public? What about the office? Source: Deepwater

Okay, so it's problematic indoors, but what's it like outdoors?

Embarrassing, some might even say, as people often snigger from behind the safety of their smartphones, taking voyeuristic photos and videos of senseless tech bros trying to legitimately use the Vision Pro out in the wild.

Apple Vision Pro can be used in public, but mind your manners - Apple  Vision Pro Discussions on AppleInsider Forums
Casey Neistat is a huge fan, even going so far as to call this the future of computing. Source: Casey Neistat

Now, I'm not that mean-spirited normally, but perhaps the people taking these photos are right - perhaps you look daft with your $3,500 ski goggles in the middle of sunny LA or New York.

And no matter how enlightening the epiphany is that it's a great way to compute, as was the case with Casey Neistat while wearing it around NYC, you're a prime target for would-be thieves.

Neistat went on, describing it as a "profound moment" while sitting in Times Square among strangers and surrounded by virtual windows. He pondered, "This is the future of computing that everyone's been talking about for the past 15 years."

This gave him a glimpse into where all this is heading, and he suggests, "This isn't just the future of AR and VR; I think this is the future interface for all computing."

Without wanting to sound like a broken record, why? Why is this any better than traditional computing?


With a battery life shorter than a caffeine high, lasting just two hours, the Vision Pro can barely support the length of a feature film, let alone a day’s work.

Basically, you'd better get used to having it tethered into a power socket most of the day. This limitation reeks of the Newton's initial woeful battery life. Ultimately impractical, especially for a device touted as having superior portability.

Up close and hands on with Apple Vision Pro at Apple Park - Future Apple  Hardware Discussions on AppleInsider Forums
Battery life is relatively poor, but forgivable given how new the tech is. Source: AppleInsider

Of course, the battery will get better over time, but do you really want to spend most of your workday in an alternate reality anyway? Has anything persuaded you regarding the Vision Pro that it's a worthy experience?

Use Cases

A limited universe in a boundless space. 

The simple fact is this: The Vision Pro’s use case appears as narrow as a needle’s eye. There is little to do with the device, but then, the same could be said when the iPhone was released.

As much as I've derided the Vision Pro, this will change, and developers will no doubt create app experiences that go further to justify the usefulness of a device like this.

What I don't think will change, however, is that this device is at its best just like when any Oculus headset is at its best - party pieces. Gaming, interactive educational experiences and novel moments of fun.

In this context, it's no better than already available headsets. But that's not how Apple is pitching the Visual Pro, they're pitching the Visual Pro as the future of computing.

They want you to live, breathe and procreate in this thing.

Here's your definitive guide to gaming on Apple Vision Pro - 9to5Mac
"I could already play this on my high-end PC, but I'll eh, I'll play this within my Apple Vision Pro on the moon..." Source: Apple

Whereas the likes of Oculus pitch their devices for gaming and smaller tasks throughout the day, essentially confining their market to those that use it for the novelty factor, Apple is going all out.

Apple wants you to spend as much time as possible using this device, and this it where the vast majority of my problems stem from. Had they suggested the user cases were similar to that of Oculus, I wouldn't take such an issue with a device that claims to be the future of computing.

It’s a device searching for a problem to solve, a solution to a question nobody asked. It’s déjà vu all over again, as we recall Newton’s struggle to find its place in consumers’ hands.

The Echoes of History 

Like the Newton before it, the Vision Pro may find its niche among enthusiasts and collectors of tech curiosities. But for the average user, it’s a hard sell—a device that promises the world but delivers an atlas when a GPS is needed.

It seems Apple has once again prioritised packing in tech over practical usability. Not unusual for a first iteration of a product, but certainly not how you'd entice anyone outside of the most hardcore to buy one of these things.

I have no doubt it will get better, but so long as VR/AR is a solitary experience and generally a bit creepy, the Apple Vision Pro will fail.

With its exorbitant price, unwieldy design, laughable battery life, and questionable utility, it seems destined to join the Newton in the annals of tech that tried to run before they could walk.

It’s a cautionary tale of innovation unchecked by practicality, a tech tragedy that will be recounted for years.

I'm prepared to stay connected. I'm convinced others share this sentiment.