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July 13, 2024

Apple Vision Pro Pre-Orders Sell Out in Minutes As Consumers Eagerly Await AR/VR Headset Despite High Price Tag

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Jan 20, 2024

Apple’s much-anticipated augmented and virtual reality headset, the Vision Pro, went on pre-order early this morning and sold out in less than 20 minutes. Despite the lofty $3,499 starting price, it seems consumers are hungry for Apple’s first foray into spatial computing.

Overwhelming Demand Crashes Website

The Vision Pro pre-order page on Apple’s website was inundated with traffic when orders opened at 5AM PST, with many users reporting error messages and crashes. After less than 20 minutes, shipping times had already slipped to March for new orders.

Tim Cook tweeted that demand has “exceeded even our highest expectations” and apologized for website issues, saying Apple is “working to resolve this as fast as humanly possible.”

Tim Cook @tim_cook Jan 19

The excitement for Vision Pro has exceeded even our highest expectations. We apologize for the website issues and are working around the clock to resolve this as fast as humanly possible. Your patience is appreciated!  

This enormous appetite for the Vision Pro shows that after years of anticipation, consumers are ready to dive into spatial computing – even with the headaches and compromises that may come with first-generation hardware.

Consumers Eager for Immersive Experiences Despite High Price, Early Comfort Concerns

At $3,499 plus the cost of prescription lens inserts, the Vision Pro is far more expensive than existing VR headsets like the $399 Meta Quest Pro. However, it appears the market is willing to pay a premium for Apple’s tighter integration with the Apple ecosystem, industrial design, and promises of new immersive reality applications.

Some early testers have complained about comfort during longer usage sessions – the headset is quite front-heavy, with most components housed in the visor rather than the rear battery pack. Users have reported neck strain and headaches after 30-60 minutes of use. This could limit daily usage for many prospective buyers.

Additionally, actually reaching out and interacting with virtual objects has proven difficult due to the lack of precise hand tracking. The Vision Pro headset ships with a simple one-button controller for basic inputs. Multi-finger detection is still years away from prime-time consumer viability.

Still, hands-on reports indicate these pain points melt away when engaging with immersive apps like Walt Disney Studios’ spatial video player. Early adopters seem willing to live with the Vision Pro’s shortcomings because the promise of presence – the feeling of existing inside virtual worlds – is that compelling.

Next-Generation Apple Silicon and Retina Resolution Provide Best-in-Class Performance

The Vision Pro runs on Apple’s newest M2 processor with 10 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores, providing smooth 90-120Hz framerates in apps built using the company’s new RealityComposer framework for immersive graphics.

This allows for retina resolution graphics (2100×1500 pixels per eye) that early testers have described as crisp, vibrant, and extremely realistic. The color passthrough AR view leverages the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera system for accurate world reconstruction.

These technical capabilities paired with Apple’s ecosystem and developer tools may give the device a performance edge over competitors, assuming developer support matures over the next year.

Deep Integration With Services Like Disney+, Apple TV+, Apple Music

The Vision Pro also ships with deep integration with Apple’s burgeoning services segment. For example, Disney is offering a catalog of new spatial movies only available on the Vision Pro and has struck a broad content partnership with Apple.

Other Apple services like Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music have all been upgraded with new immersive modes that showcase rooms or worlds only accessible through the headset.

Early hands-on reports indicate that watching movies or sports in a virtual theater with other people’s 3D avatars is a genuinely novel experience that feels like the first step into the “metaverse.”

What Comes Next?

With pre-orders filled for the next two months, the question shifts to whether Apple can keep up with demand or if supply shortages will plague the Vision Pro’s launch. As more headsets make their way into consumers’ hands, the success of the device will hinge on developers building compelling apps that consumers want to engage with for more than brief novelty sessions.

If early indications hold true, the Vision Pro could pioneer widespread consumer adoption of augmented and virtual reality computing – but technical limitations and software maturity remain open questions. Expect more breaking developments on launch day, March 15th 2024.

Vision Pro Hands-On Impressions

Reviewer Positives Negatives
CNET Retina visuals, snappy performance, Disney app Front-heavy, neck strain after 30 minutes
Wall Street Journal Comfort better than expected, setup easy with iPhone Hand interactions feel unnatural
Washington Post Vibrant 3D movie worlds feel like magic Battery life limits continuous use
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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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