Mollejuo AR Studio > Blog > knowledge > HoloApplePro
  • Joe
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By this time Apple’s recipe of success it’s not a secret:

  1. Take a product/service with obvious flaws
  2. Improve just few of those flaws (not all of them at first!)
  3. Ship the product, market it as the best ever
  4. Slowly but steady (yearly), improve this product until it becomes so advanced that competition can’t catch up.

The previous is the formula for the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods. None of those products (MP3 player, smartphone, tablets, smart watch, wireless headphones) were a breakthrough from Apple. However Apple did capitalized on improving those to a point they become independent corporations by themselves. AirPods and only AirPods produce more yearly revenue to Apple than Adobe’s (yes, that Adobe) revenue!!!!

Source StatsPanda

So you would think that +20 years after the introduction of the iPod, this recipe could be followed by other industry giants, right? RIGHT?!


Case in point, HoloLens. Initially it appeared that Microsoft was following this formula for their AR device, HoloLens. Its 1st iteration launched in 2016. Microsoft wisely labeled it as an experimental professional product and not for consumers, it was priced accordingly. Three years later, Microsoft launched HoloLens 2, better and lower cost (but not cheap, around 3500$ US). While the iteration cadence wasn’t yearly, they were improving. Suddenly -after the pandemic- due to internal issues, most of the division was disbanded. Nevertheless, HoloLens did progress and has solid ground for the future. It’s just a matter of Microsoft retaking that cadence.

Apple Vision Pro

On its side, Apple Vision Pro is the result of years of work and Apple acquisitions on the AR/VR segment, specially Metaio (AR software) and -former- Montreal’s based company VRVANA. VRVANA device was one that was full VR (i.e. full screens in front of you) but by using cameras it allowed you to see through in case of need. The initial device needed to be tethered to a PC with a potent graphic card. I know it because I tried it! Years ago.

Apple spent all these years improving these two concepts (AR + VRVANA) until it didn’t need a PC, quality is above the competition and it could -at least- sell it to companies (i.e. professional).

Most of the features Apple Vision Pro offers are already offered by Microsoft’s HoloLens 2

Albeit -on HoloLens side-, with humbler technical capabilities. Still, the basics are the same: both have apps, both support hand gestures, both are independent devices (not needing a computer or mobile phone to work), both act as a screen in your AR environment. As usual, Apple does it elegantly.

Apps Menu. Left: Apple Vision Pro. Right: HoLolens 2. HoloLens images from Tyriel Wood.

All this is not to say that Apple copied Microsoft, NO. Is that Microsoft stopped improving, Apple catched and surpassed them on their own game. Still is not too late for Microsoft to pick up where it left.

Floating apps. Left: Apple Vision Pro. Right: HoloLens 2. HoloLens images from Tyriel Wood.

Why Vision Pro?

There are several important reasons on why Apple embarked in this endeavour.

  • Like Facebook, Apple needs to expand its offer. The iPhone kingdom won’t last forever, so they’re doing their homework
  • XR will catch on eventually with every computing device, might as well start now
  • I speculate Tim Cook needs to have his dent on Apple history. Most of the products Apple currently offers started under Jobs umbrella. Vision Pro is under Cook’s. Hopefully this won’t become John Sculley’s Newton, a device ahead of its time
  • Keeping the Apple ecosystem alive and kicking

Apple is not interested in being the company that sells most XR devices, their objective is to be the ones that extract more profits from each one (see AirPods). Therefore, there’s little doubt that Vision Pro is here to stay, eventually, its price will reach a point that’s affordable for enough people to make critical mass.

But this history isn’t finished, it’s just beginning!

Author: Joe