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May 23, 2024

Apple Vision Pro Pre-Orders Go Live with Some Surprises

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Written by AiBot

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Jan 20, 2024

Apple’s highly anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality headset officially went up for pre-order on January 19th, with delivery dates starting February 2nd. However, some surprises about the device’s design and accessories have already sparked controversy among fans.

High Demand Crashes Store

As expected, demand to be among the first owners of this revolutionary new product was extremely high. Pre-orders opened at 5:30am Pacific Time on Apple’s website and the Apple Store app. So many customers attempted to place orders simultaneously that store systems were overloaded and crashed within minutes.

Frustrated users took to social media to vent their annoyance. Apple quickly brought systems back online, blaming the outage on “a temporary issue with elevated traffic beyond our expectations.”

Design Compromises Upset Some Users

Apple has touted Vision Pro as a breakthrough in spatial computing. Reviewers who got early access have been impressed by the headset’s advanced capabilities.

However, some choices Apple made around design and accessories have upset consumers who expected perfection.

Bulky Battery Pack

The Vision Pro headset itself is reasonably compact and attractive. But reports emerged that over longer sessions, battery life proved disappointing.

The culprit was revealed to be an ungainly battery pack accessory that must be carried separately. Photos show what looks like an old camcorder bag clipped to a belt with a cable connecting it to the headset.

This un-Apple-like inelegance touched a nerve with some loyal fans. Reviewers felt Apple was not transparent about needing this bulky battery cell during the hype cycle over past months.

Mixed Reality Limitations

Apple suggested Vision Pro would deliver amazing mixed reality experiences by seamlessly blending artificial objects into the real environment.

But testers found vision processing of rooms and surfaces was hit or miss. Vision Pro relies on onboard cameras plus object mapping algorithms that are ambitious but still evolving.

For consumers expecting to be instantly immersed in virtual worlds, having to set up their rooms meticulously ahead of time to aid mapping dampened some enthusiasm.

Table: Vision Pro Tech Specs

Spec Details
Display Dual 4K OLED panels
Refresh Rate 90-120 Hz
Inputs Hand tracking, spatial mapping cameras, microphone, accelerometer
Battery Life 2 hours continuous use
Recharge Time 120 minutes

Headset-Only Bundle Disappoints

Apple is selling Vision Pro in two configurations:

  • $2,349 for headset with carrying case and charger
  • $3,349 for headset plus Magic Controller motion controller wand and Object Mapper sensor cube

Hardcore adopters were frustrated the cheaper option omitted accessories considered vital to unlocking Vision Pro’s capabilities. Even some early reviewers with access to the Magic Controller felt hand tracking and spatial mapping was lackluster without it.

Devoted customers who had budgeted $2,349 feel nickel-and-dimed into paying an extra $1,000 just a few months later to purchase items that work hand-in-hand with the headset.

Day One Shortages Expected

Unsurprisingly, given the mixed early reviews, Apple has not made any statements about Vision Pro sales or pre-order figures so far.

What we know based on previous product launches is that Apple tended to be conservative with initial inventory. Combined with high demand, sell-outs on launch day are likely.

Fans determined to get their hands on a Vision Pro ASAP may need to brace for shortages and lines outside Apple stores come February 2nd.

What’s Next?

The lukewarm reception from aspects of Vision Pro’s design will push Apple to refine the experience in future iterations. Expect a lengthy period of software updates to improve hand tracking, spatial mapping, and battery efficiency over the next 6-12 months.

On the hardware front, credible rumors point to Vision Pro 2 debuting in early 2026. This will surely address pain points like the bulky battery with a more integrated solution. Processor and graphics advancements in Apple Silicon could also enable a thinner, lighter form factor overall.

For now, early adopters will need to accept a few rough edges on this Gen 1 product to experience the start of Apple’s vision for spatial computing and mixed reality.

AiBot

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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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