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Price aside, the Apple Vision Pro‘s battery is clearly a weak spot for the upcoming mixed-reality headset. Not only is having a tethered battery a slightly awkward way of making the headset part lighter (and an ineffective one, based on early reports of the Vision Pro’s weight problem), but Apple says it will only provide two hours of usage if you need to be mobile. That puts it on par with many of the best VR headsets on the market, but it’s still less than optimal for long-term wear.
The advantage of an external battery, however, is that (in theory) you could pick a capacity to match your needs. Will you only need it for a quick burst? Something small and light would be ideal. But if you’re working on a lengthy project, you might want something more heavy-duty to go the distance.
While Apple hasn’t suggested it will easily allow battery swaps — let alone third-party cells — Twitter user @aaronp613 spotted something interesting. When Apple rolled out the backend for Vision Pro to receive firmware updates, three different model numbers were listed: A2781, A2988 and A2697.
The Apple Vision Pro battery has a model number of A2781.The firmware released last night references 2 other Vision Pro battery models: A2988 & A2697 https://t.co/NyDSz6ylTnJuly 21, 2023
Could this mean Apple is planning three different sizes to allow users to pick and choose? Maybe. But equally, maybe not.
What’s in a number?
It’s certainly possible that Apple is planning different battery packs for the Vision Pro. The company does like selling accessories, after all.
But if that is the case, then bear in mind that other batteries are likely to be smaller, not larger. It just wouldn’t make sense for Apple not to boast about the best possible battery life when announcing it, in much the same way that the company talks about the most expensive configurations of Macs when boasting about speed. Still, if your concern is primarily about comfort, then a smaller battery option might be welcome if it’s on the table.
There’s another possibility that doesn’t relate to capacity at all, however. The battery model numbers could correspond to batteries for different regions, as international standards…