Apple Vision Pro is not wireless and this is driving some people to distraction

Let’s start with the most basic and salient fact: Apple Vision Pro is not wireless. It has an external battery I have seen, touched, and sat beside. It’s not a secret. It should not be a surprise. Somehow, though, it is generating more interest and controversy than almost any other component of the about-to-ship product.

It’s been nearly seven months of covering Apple’s Vision Pro mixed reality headset (which ships on February 2). This includes four hands-on experiences and considerable deep dives into the specifications and use of the world’s first “Spatial Computer.” Apple’s created a remarkable piece of hardware that, despite similarities to other mixed reality and virtual reality headsets I’ve worn over the years, is also unlike any of them. I like it and wish it was a whole lot cheaper.

From the moment I first saw the headset in June at Apple Park where Apple had positioned a dozen or so of them in a circle and frenzied journalists carouseled around them, angling to get good photos or videos of the products we could not touch, there was the cable and battery. I took pictures of it and noted how the brick looked like the aluminum back of an original iPhone (I still don’t think that’s an accident.)

We got close but could not put one on – at least not on that day. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Later that same day, I took my first Vision Pro test drive. Apple had me sit down and helped position the cable that ran from the left side of the headset so it wasn’t in the way. My eyes traced that cable down to the battery brick that was sitting casually on the cushion beside me. When I stood up to stand “nose-to-nose” with a dinosaur, someone handed me the battery so I could carry it with me.