Vision Pro poll: More than half of Cult of Mac readers will return ‘magical’ headset


An Apple Vision Pro headset promotional image with the word
A shockingly high number of Cult of Mac readers say they won't be keeping their Vision Pro headsets.
Photo: Apple/Modified by Cult of Mac

You’d think readers of a website called Cult of Mac would be into Apple products. But a straw poll of Cult of Mac Today readers found a whopping 76% of respondents plan to return their Vision Pro to Apple.

The eye-popping number comes as droves of Vision Pro early adopters say they plan to take advantage of Apple’s generous return policy. Discomfort, the headset’s high price and the lack of a clear use case for the isolating device top the list of reasons cited by disaffected Vision Pro owners.

Vision Pro returns poll: Cult of Mac readers respond

Apple pitched Vision Pro as the “ultimate entertainment device,” but also — more importantly — as a revolutionary machine that throws open the doors to a new era of spatial computing.

Most people who experience the Vision Pro, either by buying one or by doing a (highly recommended) in-store demo, come away impressed with the headset’s immersive capabilities. However, that magical experience may not be enough to convince Vision Pro buyers to keep the $3,499 headsets.

As we reported Wednesday, many people who bought Vision Pro in the first wave of sales now plan to return their headsets. For people who bought Vision Pro on the first day of sales, Apple’s two-week returns window closes Friday.

The mass return is a new phenomenon for an Apple product — or any tech product for that matter. While some percentage of buyers of expensive gear always get cold feet (or get into a fight with their penny-pinching spouse), it’s highly unusual for a new product to be returned en masse like the Vision Pro.

Of course, Vision Pro is polarizing. Apple’s first major new product category in about a decade, reviewers enthusiastically praised Vision Pro for its magical interface and transportive experiences. However, the headset also took plenty of heat, from the tech press as well as consumers.

Many criticized Vision Pro for its weight (which proved uncomfortable for some). Others dinged the headset’s isolating effect on users. And many seemed to struggle to find a clear and compelling daily use case that makes Vision Pro worth the investment. (Long story short, you can do some work on Vision Pro. But it’s no Mac, at least not in the headset’s current form.)

76% of Cult of Mac Today readers plan to return Vision Pro

Cult of Mac Today poll results about Vision Pro returns. An astonishing 76% of respondents plan to return Vision Pro.
Cult of Mac Today poll results show an astonishing 76% of respondents plan to return Vision Pro.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

On Wednesday, we polled readers of our popular (and free!) Cult of Mac Today newsletter about plans to return their headsets.

We were shocked when 76% of poll respondents said they were returning their Vision Pro. 76%!!!! (See the graphic above). A whopping 45% of those said they plan to return Vision Pro because the headset, which allows users to switch between augmented reality and full VR immersion, seems too isolating.

Only 26% said they plan to keep their Vision Pro, and 12% remained undecided.

We also ran a poll on X that returned similar but not as extreme results. On X, 45% of respondents said they would return Vision Pro, while the remaining 54% planned to keep it.

Of course, polls like this aren’t scientific. All kinds of things can skew the results. They obviously should be taken with a pinch or two of salt. Cult of Mac asked Apple for comment on Vision Pro return rates but did not receive a reply as of press time.

Even hardcore Apple fans can’t stomach Vision Pro’s price tag

Nonetheless, the numbers prove strikingly high for readers of an Apple-oriented news, reviews and how-tos website. Such results would be no shocker at Meta Quest Today, or the Mark Zuckerberg Toady Fan Club. But if Cult of Mac readers aren’t sold on Vision Pro, who is?

Reasons behind the Vision Pro mass exodus are varied, but the biggest reason is the headset’s enormous price tag. In fact, the Vision Pro’s $3,499 price tag has been a problem since Apple unveiled the headset to gasping audience members at WWDC23 last June.

And that’s just the Vision Pro’s base price. The total cost ticks closer to $4,000 when you add sales tax, upgrades and accessories. It’s definitely not an impulse buy for most people.

Also, many early Vision Pro adopters apparently bought the headset with the express intention of returning it after two weeks. Knowing that Apple will take back an undamaged product with no questions asked, this first wave of Vision Pro buyers likely viewed the last two weeks as an extended trial period. Many of them apparently couldn’t find a good reason to keep it.

There’s a silver lining for Apple, though. Many early adopters seeking refunds say they certainly will return for version 2 of the Vision Pro, if and when Apple solves the headset’s problems (and lowers its price).


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.