I'm still trying to process the core reason why the recent Apple Vision Pro doesn't sit well with me as a product, as a platform, or as a strategic move for such a massive behemoth of a business Apple has become.

A few days ago, I was trying to go at it differently. You see, I'm well aware of some of my blindspots. One of them is certainly that I always consider the overall strategy first and then only how the product plays in it (and yes, as much as it's a core strength in my business, it still comes at a price).

Regarding the Apple Vision Pro (the. product itself) I'm starting to consider it as something that Apple rarely, if ever, launched: A direct vision from the future which as already made for us so many choices about how we are going to use it, while we do still live in the present where there is no market for it yet.

This is unlike all the game-changing products Apple has launched since the eighties. Every computer is mostly a blank canvas for development, and if, yes, the OS, the hardware, and peripherals do elicit key choices in the way applications will run and what they can offer, they are still rather usage agnostic. In clear: the MacIntosh didn't force you to become an architect. You could use it to run a small business, play games (well, in theory ☺️), plug it in a science lab, or whatever. The same goes for the iPhone and the iPad. The Apple Watch was pushing some ideas as new use case scenarios to the market (sending your heartbeat to a loved one?) but rapidly went where the market wanted it to be, which was mostly a consumer-grade fitness device.

Not the Apple Vision Pro, though.

This device has already made most of the choices in how to use it, how you can interact with it, and what you can or cannot do with it. There is no room to push it away from its intended trajectory. One of the many reasons for this is that the hardware is still so difficult to make that a lot of these choices were necessary. But it's also because Apple had to demonstrate what the next level of VR/AR could be when they entered this crowded and yet unconvincing market.

All the choices they made are now making this platform extremely difficult to scale because the market cannot decide where to go with it. The choices are locked in. Imagine getting as a kid in the nineties overboard from Back to the Future and realizing that on paper, it's an amazing product, but that while you could surf above small pools of water with it, it wasn't designed to grind on ramps or wasn't stable enough to jump and ollie with it. After a few hours (minutes?) of playing with this science-fiction toy, you'd be back on your trusty, low-tech skateboard.

This is the Apple Vision Pro. A very good idea on paper coming directly from the future. A future we may not want to participate in, and certainly not a flexible, blank canvas of possibilities allowing third parties to invest time and resources in sustaining this platform.

The link has been copied!