Apple reportedly already started shipping the Vision Pro headset in small quantities to its U.S. warehouses. From there, the AR headset will reach the company’s retail stores.
All these preparations suggest a February launch, ensuring Apple will stick to its promised “early next year” timeframe for releasing its next major product.
Apple’s AR headset could steal the limelight from CES 2024
When unveiling the Vision Pro at its annual developers conference last June, Apple pitched the mixed-reality headset as a groundbreaking piece of high-end hardware that ushers in an era of “spatial computing.” The headset’s $3,499 price tag drew instant criticism. But people who tried the Vision Pro said Apple nailed the experience, thanks to its innovative user interface and high-resolution optics and sensors.
The headset will run many iPhone and iPad apps, but the real challenge is coming up with killer apps that take advantage of the high-end hardware. To that end, Apple opened Vision Pro developer labs around the world and loaned headsets to some coders. Perhaps unsurprisingly, devs working with Apple to produce the apps that make Vision Pro a must-buy device also praise the headset’s capabilities.
Making a splash with a major product launch
We all might get an even better look at Vision Pro in the coming weeks. In 2024’s first edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman predicts Apple will “make an announcement related to the Vision Pro in the next week or so to take some of the spotlight away from CES,” the annual tech trade show that opens Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Apple does not participate in the massive consumer electronics show.)
Gurman’s sources reveal some Apple retail staff will fly to Cupertino to receive training about the new product. The specially trained employees then will push the Vision Pro to customers and teach them about its features. And they also will teach their retail colleagues how to use the AR headset.
Additionally, Apple stores reportedly will hold three-hour-long meetings on January 21, 2024. Retail workers could receive training and more details about the AR headset’s sales strategy during these sessions.
The Vision Pro’s possible February launch jibes with a previous report of Apple ramping up the headset’s production in late December.
Getting your hands on Apple Vision Pro won’t be easy
Even when the Vision Pro launches in February, getting your hands on one of the headsets won’t be easy. You apparently will need to book an in-store appointment to buy the headset. This will seemingly also require sharing details about your prescription lenses (if any) to avoid any fitment problems.
Apple reportedly plans to set up special areas inside its stores where customers can try out the Vision Pro. However, these will only be available in select stores initially. All these complications will make the Vision Pro Apple’s most complex retail launch ever.