Apple will reportedly require you to make an in-store appointment to buy the Vision Pro headset when it launches next year. This is the same strategy the company employed for the Apple Watch launch in 2015.
Apple plans to set up special demo zones inside its stores when the $3,500 headset goes on sale in the United States in early 2024. The company reportedly will utilize custom tools to make sure accessories fit buyers’ faces.
Vision Pro: Apple’s most complex retail launch ever
A Friday report from Bloomberg shed light on Vision Pro’s availability and sales experience. The report says Apple’s upcoming headset will go on sale across all U.S. stores. However, special areas within stores to try out the headset will initially be available only in select stores in major cities.
Sources claim this will be Apple’s most complex retail launch ever, as it will require managing supply chain and retail training. Due to this, the company does not expect to start selling the Vision Pro through third-party resellers until 2025. And due to the headset’s high production cost, most stores will have one or two demo units.
All in-store customers will need to make an appointment before they can buy the Vision Pro because Apple wants to cut down on fitment problems. The company also will ask customers about their prescription lenses (if any), possibly via an online portal.
Apple will first start selling the Vision Pro through its online store in the United States before expanding its availability to international markets. It is developing an iPhone app to scan the user’s face to determine the accessory sizing. Customers ordering through the online store must also use this app and upload prescription lens data.
Slow international expansion will follow U.S. launch
If you were hoping for Apple to rapidly expand the Vision Pro’s availability to international markets after its U.S. debut, prepare for disappointment. The headset’s complex design reportedly means Apple can’t produce anywhere near as many as originally planned for the launch.
Reportedly, the United Kingdom and Canada could become the first markets where Vision Pro arrives outside the United States. However, this might happen only by the end of 2024, with European and Asian launches to follow soon after. Apple has not yet made a final decision in this regard, though.
Additionally, the Cupertino company’s engineers are working on localizing the headset for France, Germany, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.