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A man trying out the Vision Pro at an Apple Store in Los Angeles

Photo: David Swanson / AFP

No matter who reports on the Vision Pro, Apple's first computer glasses, everyone can agree on one thing: the image quality is top notch.

Even Mark Zuckerberg says that - even if he otherwise comes to the expected conclusion in an Instagram video that his meta-group's Quest 3 is "the better product."

The screens on the Apple glasses have a higher resolution than those on the Meta glasses, which is “really good.”

As an analysis by the market research company Omdia now shows, this also has its price.

For this purpose, the company has created a so-called bill of materials, i.e. a list of the components used including their estimated costs.

The costs for components and production of the Vision Pro alone are $1,542.

The majority of this is accounted for by the two screens and their optical system.

Expensive micropixels

Accordingly, Omdia estimates that Apple will have to pay $456 for the two micro-LED displays supplied by Sony alone.

That's more than many people spend on a television, let alone a PC monitor.

However, given the technical performance of the tiny screens, their price is put into perspective.

According to Apple, they have a total of 23 million pixels, each just 7.5 microns in size.

They are so tiny that, according to an analysis by the repair portal iFixit, 50 of them would fit in one screen pixel of the iPhone 15 Pro.

Added to this are the costs for the two lenses through which you view the screens.

Unit price: $35.

This brings the optical system to $526, almost a third of the total cost.

Omdia's experts estimate another $240 for the two large Apple chips that are in the glasses.

These are the M2 known from MacBooks and iPads and the R1 image processor developed especially for the Vision Pro.

Just an estimate

Of course, Omdia's calculation can only be an estimate.

But the projection at least gives a rough idea of ​​the production costs involved in Apple's products.

These estimates are popular among experts - they were also available for the iPhone XS Max or iPad Air.

Such analyzes look at which components are in the devices, at what retail prices, and what costs might be incurred for assembly.

A more precise calculation is not possible because it is not known how much Apple actually has to pay for the individual components.

It is also unknown which contracts the company has concluded with assembly companies such as Foxconn.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said years ago that speculation about Apple's manufacturing costs "differs far from reality."

He himself has “never seen one that is even remotely accurate.”

A lot is missing

A particularly interesting item can be found at the very end of the invoice for the Vision Pro provided by Omdia.

The company estimates that it would cost $130 to assemble the glasses at the contract manufacturer Luxshare.

For comparison: At the time, experts estimated $24.50 for assembly and functional testing of the iPhone XS Max.

The complex structure of computer glasses obviously has its price here too.

However, the cost estimate can only be an approximation of Apple's actual expenses because additional items such as packaging, transport and marketing are missing.

But above all because the development costs, including for the software, are not included in the invoice.