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May 29, 2024

Apple Speeds Up Vision Pro Production, Aims for February Launch

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Dec 27, 2023

Apple is ramping up production of its much-anticipated Vision Pro augmented and virtual reality headset, aiming to unveil the high-end device in February 2023 according to multiple reports. This would put the launch ahead of expectations and sets the stage for Vision Pro to potentially be one of Apple’s most important product releases in 2024.

Mass Production Underway, Shipments to Begin Soon

Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that mass production of Vision Pro started in late December 2022. Additionally, mass shipments to Apple stores are slated to begin in late January 2023. This lines up with previous reports indicating production issues had largely been resolved.

If the February target holds up, it would signify Apple overcame supply chain challenges that reportedly plagued the project in 2022. Kuo believes Apple is aiming to ship at least 500,000-1,000,000 units in 2023. While far below the sales volume of iPhones and other established products, it would represent a successful launch for the new device category.

Premium Price Tag Over $2,000

As expected for a first generation product using cutting edge technology, Vision Pro will carry a premium price tag. Current rumors peg the entry level configuration at around $2,500 to $3,000.

For that lofty sum, buyers will get Vision Pro’s slick design and innovative feature set combining VR and AR capabilities. This includes dual ultra high resolution displays to enable visually immersive mixed reality applications.

Advanced hand tracking and spatial audio should also help Vision Pro stand out from competitors like Meta Quest Pro which sells for $1,500. The hefty price will likely restrict Vision Pro’s addressable market initially to tech early adopters and developers.

Store Staff Receive Specialized Training

In preparation for the Vision Pro launch, Apple plans to train retail employees through required online courses. Slated to start in January 2023, the training aims to familiarize staff with the headset’s hardware and software capabilities. Hands-on time with the device will teach employees how to demonstrate features and properly fit the vision wearable.

Store staff will likely promote Vision Pro as a revolutionary device that gives users new ways to communicate, interact with information, and experience immersive 3D content. Training documents reference multisensory simulations, cinema glasses, and guardian features for safety.

Privacy and Accessibility Features Showcased

While VR technology raises some privacy concerns, Apple is making privacy fundamental to Vision Pro’s design according to company executives. Hardware sensor signals will reportedly be processed on-device instead of transmitting raw data to the cloud.

Vision Pro will also boast extensive accessibility features to support those with disabilities. For example, hearing impaired users can leverage spatial audio’s precise directional cues. Apple plans to highlight these capabilities to appeal to a wider demographic beyond typical tech enthusiasts.

Vision Pro Tech Specs
Display Resolution 4K micro OLED per eye
Refresh Rate Up to 120 Hz
Field of View Unknown, estimate 100 degrees+
Chipset Custom Apple silicon, similar to M2
Battery Life Unknown, estimated 2 hours mixed use
Weight Unknown, high due to required internal components

Unique Buying Options Offer Flexibility

Vision Pro orders will come with various purchase choices absent from other Apple products. Customers can pay in full upfront or via monthly installments over 24 months with 0% interest. Trade-ins accept iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or Apple Watch devices in good working order. Perhaps recognizing the high ticket price, Apple seems to be encouraging broad participation through flexible payment plans.

Developers Eagerly Await Release

The VR development community eagerly anticipates Vision Pro’s launch as it promises to expand the mixed reality app ecosystem. Commentators believe Apple’s entrance will bring new users and encourage additional investment. However, the rumored $500 yearly fee for access to beta SDKs may limit smaller developers’ capabilities.

Still, early developer kits display promising system performance and graphics. The simple black and white design is reportedly comfortable for long term wearing. Eye tracking works well, a key feature for foveated rendering that concentrates processing power to where users are looking.

Developers look forward to leveraging Vision Pro’s capabilities for visually impressive games, educational software, and commercial applications. The Unity game engine team is particularly thrilled to build MR worlds that can tap into future iPhones and Macs with Apple silicon.

Competitors Rush to Respond

Other tech giants won’t cede the growing metaverse space to Apple without a fight. Reports indicate Meta plans to unveil the next version of its Quest Pro headset in October 2023. Dubbed Quest 3, it will highlight upgrades like increased processing power, thinner form factor, and better mixed reality integration.

Similarly, Google allegedly aims to launch an “Android-based consumer AR headset” sometime in 2024. Though details remain scare, Google’s software background may enable unique cloud connectivity and AI features. Smaller players like Vuzix also look to capitalize on emerging consumer interest in AR/VR wearables.

The market is clearly betting on the next computing revolution to supplant mobile devices long term. But near term forecasts remain cautious given the early state of technology capabilities, application development, and hardware costs. As the first mover, Vision Pro has the potential to set the pace and establish platform dominance – if it delivers a compelling consumer experience worthy of the steep price tag.

What Comes After Launch?

Assuming Vision Pro reaches users’ hands in the coming weeks with adequate stock, attention turns to public reception and real world performance meeting expectations set by Apple’s hype machine. Developers will race to launch apps demonstrating Vision Pro’s utility beyond novelty VR games and video playback.

More affordable second generation models aimed at mass market adoption likely won’t arrive sooner than late 2024 or early 2025. In the meantime, a successful Vision Pro launch could encourage Apple’s competitors to accelerate their own development ambitions to vie for metaverse mindshare. 2023 promises to be a pivotal year that determines who shapes the next epoch of computing interfaces.

Conclusion

Powered by custom Apple silicon, Vision Pro looks to push the envelope on mixed reality capabilities in a slick physical design customers expect from Apple. But breaking into a new product category won’t come easy, with lots of technology innovation and ecosystem nurturing required before AR and VR become truly mainstream.

While the initial target market is limited given the premium pricing, Apple’s entry represents a watershed moment for the metaverse and spatial computing aspirations. As the first serious contender from big tech, all eyes are on Vision Pro to assess whether now is the time for such devices to transition from science fiction into consumer reality.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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