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Apple Will Reportedly Keep Dedicated Headset Team In 'Vision Products Group'

Apple Will Reportedly Keep Dedicated Headset Team In 'Vision Products Group'

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that the dedicated team at Apple working on Vision Pro will continue to operate as its own division, working largely independent from the company's wider teams that manage multiple product lines at once.

For its biggest product lines, such the iPhone, iPad, Mac and more, Apple doesn't have dedicated teams working solely on each one. Instead, Apple organizes itself through departments, such as software engineering, hardware development, machine learning, design and more. This is a structure put in place by Steve Jobs in the 1990s, allowing the wider teams to divide resources among the product lines as needed.

However, during the development of Apple Vision Pro, Apple had its own dedicated division for the headset, known at the Technology Development Group. Run by Mike Rockwell, this dedicated group has reportedly now been renamed internally to the Vision Products Group (VPG), according to Mark Gurman in this week's Power On newsletter.  

Gurman reports that this dedicated division maintains its own independent teams that work on hardware, software and more, solely for the Vision product line. While it maintains separate teams, the Visions Products Group does still collaborate with other departments as needed, such as the design department or the team responsible for the headset's M1 and R1 processor chips. Likewise, the Vision Products Group also "relies on frameworks and other building blocks created for iOS and macOS" by Craig Federighi's software engineering team.

According to Gurman's report, Apple is not planning on moving the Vision Products Group into the company's wider departments after the headset's release. Instead, Apple reportedly intends to keep the existing structure in place, meaning Vision Pro will be one of a select few product groups with its own separate, dedicated teams.

Gurman suggests this might be because of the cutting-edge, complex nature of the headset, or that Apple is waiting for it to "become important enough to its bottom line" before integrating it into the teams that also manage resources for big moneymakers like the iPhone and Mac. Likewise Gurman posits that "a single team operating in a startup-like environment can move more quickly to develop a first generation product, while allowing for more secrecy."

The other big takeaway is that the division's reported new name – Vision Products Group – references 'products'. This is another obvious indicator pointing to Apple working on additional headsets in the Vision line, likely including the previously reported cheaper headset model, which may have been recently pushed back into 2026.

As Gurman points out in his report, Apple took a similar 'dedicated team' approach when it launched the Apple Watch in 2015.  The Apple Watch team worked under Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, as opposed to working under the larger teams led by the company's presidents of software and hardware.

Many have compared early versions of the Apple Watch as analogous to Vision Pro. The former launched without a clear or definitive single key use case, which has been a common criticism leveled at Vision Pro since its initial reveal.  

Apple Vision Pro is set to begin shipping in early 2024 in the United States as part of a reportedly "very slow rollout," with the UK and Canada eyed as expansion markets for later in the year.

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