Apple Creates New Vision Products Group, a More Siloed Development Process
Apple is reportedly developing and handing the Vision Pro headset team very differently from other projects under the company banner. It’s said that the Cupertino company has created the Vision Products Group, a dedicated division overseeing its hardware, software engineering, etc.
In the late 90s, former CEO Steve Jobs introduced a “functional” management structure, where departments such as software engineering, hardware development, machine learning, design, etc. all contributed to iPhone, Mac, AirPods, and all other core devices. Now, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman states this may not be the case for Vision Pro.
In a report, Gurman claims that Apple is evolving its strategy for Vision Pro with a dedicated division, run by Mike Rockwell. The unit was formally known as Technology Development Group in 2015, throughout the development of the mixed reality headset. However, it has since changed its name in recent weeks to Vision Products Group (VPG).
VPG operates as a siloed division within Apple. Its core software and hardware developments aren’t innovated by collaborative efforts across other departments. Instead, the group has its own teams all overseen by Rockwell. This includes core strategy, computer vision, content, app development and project management divisions.
However, Gurman notes that design and operation teams overseen by Jeff Williams have collaborated as has the chip unit team making the M2 and R1 processors. As Vision Pro also utilizes the framework of iOS and macOS, VPG is also collaborating with Craig Federighi and his teams.
Gurman explains the reasoning behind this siloed structure may allow VPG to move fast and effectively on developing the first iteration of Vision Pro while also maintaining secrecy. It’s also speculated that VPG could incorporate specialists who are a necessity for the mixed reality headset. Another reason may be that Apple is waiting for Vision Pro to become more profitable prior to taking resources from iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Vision Pro is expected to launch in early 2024 for $3,499 USD (around $4,702 CAD). It’s been recently reported that a Canadian launch could come at the end of 2024.