Vision Pro's fabric case revealed — Apple hasn't learned anything from its flimsy AirPods Max attempt

Apple Vision Pro first impressions
(Image credit: Future / Britta O'Boyle)

Apple's big bet on spatial computing, the Vision Pro headset, will go on sale on February 2 after going up for preorder this Friday, January 19. There are still few people who have actually used one of these things, but Apple is at least now starting to share some more information about what early adopters can expect. And part of that is what will come in the box.

As part of that box information, we learned that Apple is going to give everyone a protective case to go with their new headset. It's designed to keep the headset's EyeSight display safe and sound while it's not being used. Apple has so far not shown us what the case will look like however, which has led to some wondering what Vision Pro buyers will get. Now, we might have been given our first glimpse at that case and early impressions aren't great.

The case we've been shown is a fabric affair that, while it appears to be rigid, doesn't look like it is going to provide all that much protection at all. What's more, it'll only protect the front of the Vision Pro, leaving the rest of it — and those 4K displays — wide open. In fact, the whole thing gives off AirPods Max case vibes, and we all know how well-received that was.

Better than nothing

The case was shared by X leaker @M1Astra and appears to show a fabric affair that will clip onto the front of the Vision Pro itself. It isn't yet clear how it will be affixed, although it's possible that magnets will come into play. The material itself isn't obvious from the image that was shared on X either, but it could be something similar to the Apple Watch Ultra 2's bands or even FineWoven.

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Keeping your new $3,499 Vision Pro safe when it isn't being used is of course something people will want to do so a case is a no-brainer. Part of the Vision Pro story has so far suggested Apple expects it to be used on airplanes, so it does expect people to throw it into a bag and take it places, too. We're not sure that this case is something we'd trust to keep it safe in a backpack.

Apple's struggles with cases are of course nothing new. The AirPods Max headphones ship with a similarly flimsy case that does little to protect the headband and it doesn't even fully protect the rest of them, either. Is Apple about to make the same mistake all over again?

Worryingly, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman posted to X recently to suggest that the Vision Pro "is prone to cracking if you drop it or walk into a wall," so we think we'd rather something a little more protective than what we see in the X post embedded above.

A third-party opportunity

If there is one thing that this does all mean, it's that there could be a thriving market for third-party, more rugged headset cases. Amazon is already full to the brim with cases for other headsets, and we can likely expect the same to be the case here, too.

Should you have to buy a new case because the one that comes with your $3,499 mixed reality headset? Probably not, but we do know that AppleCare Plus might be a good bet on this thing no matter which case route you decide to go.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.