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February 24, 2024

Apple’s Long-Awaited Vision Pro Headset Gearing up for Launch in Early 2024

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Dec 26, 2023

Apple’s highly anticipated augmented and virtual reality headset, known as Vision Pro, is reportedly gearing up for launch in early 2024 after years of development. Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts mass shipments of the headset will begin as soon as late January, pointing to a launch in February or March.

Years in the Making

Apple has been working on its headset project for over half a decade under extreme secrecy. Development kicked off around 2015, with rumors of the device surfacing by 2017. Apple filed numerous patents related to the headset over the years, slowly revealing aspects of its technology and design.

In 2022, snippets of information leaked from Apple suggesting an official reveal was drawing near, including preparation of stores, development of content, and testing by employees. Bloomberg reported the internal name “N301” and price point around $3,000. Further reports cemented early 2023 as the target for launch.

Now, Kuo and other sources indicate Apple is ramping up mass production of Vision Pro hardware for shipment to retail locations in late January 2023. This points to a launch event in February alongside preparation of sales systems, employee training, marketing materials, and more.

Cutting-Edge Capabilities

So what can users expect from Apple’s first crack at spatial computing devices? Current reports paint Vision Pro as a very high-end machine with capabilities rivaling some of the best VR/AR headsets on the market:

  • Extremely high resolution displays for crisp visuals
  • Lidar scanning for room mapping and occlusion of virtual objects
  • Hand and eye tracking for intuitive control
  • Powerful on-board processing equivalent to M2 Pro chip
  • 5G/WiFi connectivity
  • Over a dozen cameras monitoring user and environment
  • Lightweight, comfortable design for extended wear

These features could enable amazing mixed reality applications from gaming to communication, design, education, shopping and more.

Some examples of use cases include:

  • Interactive virtual workspaces
  • Immersive video conferencing
  • Complex 3D data visualization
  • Precise overlay of digital info onto real world
  • Next generation social/metaverse experiences

Who’s It For?

With the premium feature set comes an equally premium price, expected to be around $2,500 to $3,500 according to various sources. This positions Vision Pro out of reach for average consumers and squarely targeted at developers, creative professionals, enterprises, and tech early adopters.

Apple likely hopes to replicate the success of previous high-ticket products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac Pro which found lucrative niche audiences that eventually propelled wider mainstream adoption.

Vision Pro Sales Projections for 2024

Analyst Units Sold (2022)
Ming-chi Kuo 500,000-1,000,000
Jeff Pu 2.5 million
Ross Young Over 1 million

With estimated sales in the 1 to 2.5 million range in 2024, it’s clear Apple doesn’t expect Vision Pro to fly off shelves. But getting units into the hands of key power users could kickstart the spatial ecosystem needed for long term success.

What’s Next?

Assuming Vision Pro materializes in early 2024, what comes next for Apple’s VR/AR roadmap? Most analysts agree it is only the first step into a new era of computing for the company.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman sees a multi-phase strategy mirroring early iPods -> iPhones -> iPads. An even more powerful second generation “N602” headset with the M3 chip could arrive in late 2024 or 2025.

By the late 2020s, Apple aims to shrink technology into sleeker smart glasses eventually replacing the iPhone in the 2030s. This provides a glimpse into the ambitious decade-plus vision driving today’s Vision Pro launch.

Of course, the company isn’t working in isolation. Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Sony, HTC and more tech giants are pouring billions into spatial computing and metaverse platforms. How Apple’s offering stacks up against the competition remains to be seen.

But with Tim Cook touting AR/VR as critically important to Apple’s future, there’s no doubt they aim to play a major role shaping the next era of personal and professional computing. The launch of Vision Pro in early 2024 kicks off that journey in earnest.

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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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