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May 26, 2024

Apple Vision Pro Pre-Orders Begin, Launch Set for February 2nd

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Jan 16, 2024

Apple has officially opened pre-orders for its long-awaited Vision Pro augmented and virtual reality headset. The $3499 wearable device will begin shipping on February 2nd in the United States, with additional countries to follow later this year.

Overview

The Vision Pro headset has been rumored for years, with Apple filing numerous patents dating back to 2015 for augmented and virtual reality devices. It represents Apple’s first entry into the spatial computing market dominated by companies like Meta with its Quest headsets.

As described on Apple’s website, Vision Pro aims to provide a new way of experiencing apps, games, and even communication:

Vision Pro revolutionizes the way we connect, share experiences, and enjoy entertainment. Its pioneering technology enables our users to engage in entirely new ways — allowing them to communicate, collaborate, and express themselves like never before.

To enable these experiences, the Vision Pro is powered by Apple’s new VisionOS software and custom silicon that the company claims will set a new standard for the industry.

Pre-Order Process

Customers in the United States can now pre-order the Vision Pro from Apple.com for $3499. The pre-order process requires an existing iPhone or iPad in order to complete a Face ID scan that provides accurate sizing for the Vision Pro headband and other customizations.

As reported by The Verge, this scan maps over 20,000 points on the customer’s face to determine the optimal fit and settings:

Apple is requiring customers to complete a Face ID scan during the pre-order process to determine the best fit and settings for the Vision Pro headset before it ships…The scan apparently maps over 20,000 points on your face for what Apple says is a more comfortable and accurate experience.

Without this scan, Apple will not fulfill the Vision Pro pre-order. The company is also planning to have Vision Pro available to demo in Apple retail stores starting on January 19th, with a guided fitting and setup process that could take up to 25 minutes per customer.

Launch Titles and Apps

At launch on February 2nd, the Vision Pro will have access to various games, video streaming services, communication tools, and Apple’s own productivity applications optimized for augmented and virtual reality.

Some of the productivity apps Apple itself is launching with VisionOS include redesigned versions of Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode for creating VR/AR content. Third-party launch partners range from Adobe to game publishers like Valve and Nintendo.

Notable launch titles showcased by Apple include a new Mario Kart VR racing game from Nintendo, an iron man simulator, and a Star Wars experience that places users into an X-wing starfighter.

Category Launch Apps and Titles
Gaming Mario Kart VR, Angry Birds VR, Valve 3D Game Suite
Media and Video Disney+, Hulu, Plex, TikTok VR
Social VRChat, AltSpaceVR, Facebook Spaces
Productivity Final Cut Pro VR, Logic Pro VR, Xcode VR

While the launch catalog covers a wide range of applications, early reports indicate battery life may pose challenges for users wanting long continuous play sessions. According to analysis by iMore, the Vision Pro battery only lasts around 2 hours for active gaming/VR use. For passive media viewing, it can last closer to 4 hours on a full charge.

Analytics Partnership with TikTok

An interesting note from the product launch is a newly announced partnership between Apple and TikTok parent company ByteDance. As part of the TikTok VR application for Vision Pro, Apple will provide anonymized usage analytics to help TikTok improve features and experiences for the headset.

This type of data sharing is notable coming from Apple, which has promoted strong user privacy protections across its other products and services. It suggests the company may be taking a different approach to accelerate third-party development for its new VisionOS and Vision Pro ecosystem.

Privacy advocates may view this move as controversial and signaling a worrying partnership with TikTok and ByteDance, which have faced ongoing scrutiny from regulators regarding data collection policies.

Outlook Going Forward

With pre-orders live and the official US launch just over two weeks away on February 2nd, attention now turns to actual end-user reception and sales momentum for the Vision Pro headset. Most analysts seem bullish on demand, with predictions like the following from Loup Ventures Gene Munster:

We believe Apple will sell between 1.5 million and 2 million Vision Pros in 2023. For reference, that volume would represent about 3x Meta’s Quest Pro sales in its first year. Further, we believe Vision Pro will drive roughly $5 billion to $10 billion in incremental Services revenue in the device’s first year post-launch.

Assuming Apple meets goals for its initial US launch and international expansion through 2024, rumors suggest work is already underway on a slimmed down, lower-cost successor tentatively named Vision One. This would take a similar strategy as iPhone and Apple Watch, which launched premium flagship first editions followed by more mainstream accessible models in later generations.

With the spatial computing landscape still in its early days, Apple is betting big that Vision Pro and its new VisionOS platform will set the agenda going forward, just as the original iPhone fundamentally redefined the smartphone industry in 2007. For tech enthusiasts, AR/VR creators, developers, and even everyday early adopters, February 2nd can’t arrive soon enough.

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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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