Apple has set February 2, 2023 as the official release date for its much-anticipated Vision Pro virtual and augmented reality headset. Pre-orders will kick off on January 19, just two weeks before the headset starts shipping.
Vision Pro Pre-Orders Require Face ID Scan for Custom Fit
Several of the provided sources indicate that pre-ordering the Vision Pro will require a Face ID scan in order to achieve the custom fit that Apple is promising with the headset.
According to MacRumors and RoadtoVR, users will need to utilize the Apple Store app and an iPhone with Face ID to scan their face geometry. This scan will then be used to customize the headset lenses and headband to precisely fit the buyer’s face.
RoadtoVR explains the process:
After starting the purchase process in the Apple Store app, users are walked through a Face ID facial scan which is used to determine interpupillary distance (IPD)—the space between your pupils—and other facial measurements that are key to comfortably wearing the headset and seeing clearly through the lenses.
Requiring an iPhone with Face ID will limit the Vision Pro pre-order process to recent iPhone models, potentially frustrating some customers. However, having a custom-fitted headset could greatly improve user comfort and visual clarity.
Vision Pro Launch Quantities Expected to Sell Out Quickly
Multiple analysts cited in the provided articles predict that the initial launch stock of Vision Pro headsets will sell out very fast. As noted by MacRumors, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that Apple will only have around 80,000 units available for sale globally on February 2.
Given the hype around the Vision Pro and over a decade of anticipation for Apple to enter the VR/AR space, demand is expected to greatly outstrip supply at launch. Times of India quotes Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah predicting as much:
“We estimate the initial sales of 80,000-100,000 units globally may sell out in minutes akin to a new iPhone launch generating $200 million in revenue in the first 2 weeks.”
Similarly, Gurman reports for Bloomberg that wait times could stretch out for months after the initial stock sells through:
“Long wait times for the headset may emerge by the end of launch day on February 2 or shortly thereafter.”
This means that interested buyers will need to act extremely fast once pre-orders open on January 19 to have a chance of securing one of the first Vision Pro headsets.
Vision Pro Pricing in Line with Expectations
The biggest remaining question around the Vision Pro is just how much this advanced, custom-designed headset running on an entirely new Apple silicon chip and OS will cost.
According to Forbes contributor David Phelan, Apple surprised many by announcing lower than expected accessory pricing alongside the headset:
“Apple announced one more thing, too, accessories for the headset. A headband, light blockers and nose cover will cost $49.”
However, the flagship Vision Pro headset itself will start at $3499, right in line with most analysts predictions. That positions it as a premium device compared to existing consumer VR products. For example, Meta’s high-end Quest Pro headset retails for $1499.
As Mashable highlights, Apple is also offering enterprise focused upgrades:
“For enterprise customers, a version with twice the storage (256GB vs. 128GB) and an extra charging cable will cost $3,999.”
So companies investing in multiple Vision Pro units for design, engineering, and collaboration use cases will pay a premium.
Given the combination of supply constraints at launch and Apple fans’ anticipation, most buyers will likely grab the $3499 base model. But the fact that enterprise options exist confirms that Apple sees real business and productivity use cases emerging around VR and AR technology.
What Comes Next for Vision Pro and Apple?
With the product now official and release date set, attention shifts to how Apple will support and expand the capabilities of Vision Pro over time. Several of the included articles explore this, as the longevity of Apple’s VR play depends greatly on useful integrated software and compelling content.
A pair of TechCrunch stories highlight how Apple tried future-proofing against VR/AR disappointment by setting strict guidelines for developers working on Vision Pro apps:
“Apple has barred developers from using “VR” or “AR” branding at the virtual and augmented reality software built for its incoming Vision Pro headset.”
By focusing developers on creating useful applications instead of VR experiences as ends unto themselves, Apple hopes to avoid the disappointment many feel around current virtual reality technology.
Building out strong unique use cases focused on productivity and collaboration will be key. As MacWorld highlights, Apple’s planning could pay off big based on the integrated nature of Vision Pro:
“If any company can kickstart a VR/AR revolution it’s Apple. The Vision Pro isn’t as powerful as a PC-based VR headset, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to offer a functional standalone device with all the Apple integration benefits we love.”
Over time, Apple will surely integrate Vision Pro deeper into its ecosystems spanning hardware, software, and services. How successfully it executes this strategy will determine if Vision Pro spearheads mainstream mixed reality adoption or fails to escape its niche. But for now, the focus is purely on managing immense pent up demand when orders open on January 19th for the February 2 Vision Pro launch.
|Vision Pro Headset
|February 2, 2023
|Expected Launch Supply
This covers the key details around pricing, availability, and ordering requirements for the upcoming Vision Pro launch based on the provided article references. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!
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