According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple intends to introduce its Vision Pro headset gradually, starting in the US. The company will offer appointment-based demos in designated areas of Apple Stores. This strategy aligns with the unique and intricate nature of the mixed reality headset, mirroring Apple’s approach with the initial release of the Apple Watch in 2015.
To ensure a tailored experience, Apple will require customers to schedule appointments for trying and purchasing the Vision Pro, similar to their approach with the Apple Watch. Individuals interested in buying the headset will also be asked to provide their eyeglass prescriptions. Apple Stores will have dedicated spaces equipped with demo Vision Pro devices, seating, and tools to assist with accessory sizing.
The primary objective is to ensure that customers leave with a well-fitted headset that provides a clear view. Apple has even developed an iPhone app and physical machine that will scan customers’ heads, ensuring a tight seal to block out light. Additionally, Apple might be working on a second strap to enhance comfort for individuals with smaller heads.
Initially, Vision Pro demo spaces will be available in major US markets such as New York and Los Angeles, with plans to expand across the country. It is expected to launch in other countries by the end of 2024, potentially starting with the UK and Canada, followed by Europe and Asia.
The Vision Pro is Apple’s most significant product in recent years, representing one of their most complex devices to date. It also comes with a higher price tag compared to other consumer VR headsets. Apple undoubtedly aims to generate mainstream consumer enthusiasm for mixed reality through the Vision Pro.
In a hands-on preview, Devindra Hardawar of Engadget praised the device, stating that it provided an extraordinary experience with an “unparalleled sense of immersion.” The displays were described as sharp enough to read text on websites, and the device featured an intuitive gesture-based user interface. However, Hardawar also expressed concerns about the solitary experience associated with using mixed reality headsets, especially for social activities like watching movies.
Apple has reportedly encountered manufacturing challenges, leading to revised sales expectations for the first year. Originally anticipating 900,000 units, the company now plans to sell 400,000 units due to the constraints of the small and expensive OLED displays, as reported by the Financial Times.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vision Pro headset
Q: Will the Vision Pro headset be available for purchase in all Apple Stores?
A: Initially, the Vision Pro headset will be available for demos and purchase in select Apple Stores, specifically in major US markets like New York and Los Angeles. However, Apple plans to gradually roll out the headset to other locations across the US and eventually expand to other countries by the end of 2024.
Q: Why does Apple require appointments for trying and buying the Vision Pro headset?
A: Apple believes that ensuring a personalized and optimal experience is crucial for customers. By requiring appointments, Apple can provide dedicated demo spaces in stores, offer assistance with sizing accessories, and ensure that customers leave with a headset that fits correctly and provides a clear view. This approach has been successful in the past, such as with the launch of the Apple Watch.
Q: Will customers need to provide their eyeglass prescriptions to buy the Vision Pro headset?
A: Yes, Apple will ask potential buyers to provide their eyeglass prescriptions. This information will help Apple ensure that the headset accommodates the specific visual needs of each customer, enhancing their overall experience and comfort while using the Vision Pro.
Q: Is the Vision Pro headset suitable for people with smaller heads?
A: Apple is aware of the need for a comfortable fit for individuals with smaller heads. As part of their efforts to improve comfort, Apple is reportedly working on a second strap that will make the headset more suitable and adjustable for people with smaller head sizes.
Q: What are Apple’s plans for launching the Vision Pro headset in other countries?
A: While the initial rollout of the Vision Pro headset will be in the US, Apple plans to expand its availability to other countries. The expected timeline is to launch in the UK and Canada at the end of 2024, followed by Europe and Asia soon after. Apple aims to make the Vision Pro accessible to customers worldwide in the near future.
Q: What distinguishes the Vision Pro headset from other consumer VR headsets?
A: The Vision Pro headset is considered Apple’s most important and complex product in years. It offers a unique mixed reality experience with sharp displays, allowing users to read text on websites, and an intuitive gesture-based user interface. Its higher price tag reflects the advanced technology and features it encompasses, setting it apart from other consumer VR headsets on the market.
Q: What concerns have been raised about using mixed reality headsets like the Vision Pro?
A: One concern highlighted by reviewers is the solitary nature of using mixed reality headsets, particularly for social activities like movie watching. While the Vision Pro delivers an immersive experience, users may find limited opportunities for shared experiences and interaction with others while wearing the headset.