Apple Vision Pro may require in-store appointments — and there's more bad news

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re interested in being one of the first customers to buy Apple’s Vision Pro headset, you’ll likely have to make an appointment.

That’s not due to scarcity — though that might also be an issue thanks to slashed production numbers — but because Apple is apparently intent on ensuring the $3,500 headset is tailored to the customer purchasing it.

Bloomberg reports that it won’t be as simple as wandering to your local Apple Store and picking a Vision Pro off the shelf. Instead, the experience will mirror that of early Apple Watch buyers when the wearable launched in 2015, with the company keen to ensure that customers get the right fit for the best possible first impressions of the new product line.

To that end, Apple will apparently use either a physical machine or a currently in-development iPhone app to measure the wearer’s head and ensure the light seal effectively blocks out the light. If the user wears glasses, they’ll be asked to fill out vision prescription data for lens inserts via an online portal.

Those purchasing online — something that the Bloomberg article predicts as coming in “early 2024” — will be asked to upload the same prescription data and “use the face scan app to determine accessory sizing."

The report claims that while Apple Vision Pro will be sold at all of Apple’s 270 or so U.S. locations, demo areas with seating, test units and accessory sizing tools are initially planned for “stores in major areas” — think New York and Los Angeles — before being rolled out elsewhere.

The complexity of ensuring that the device fits each buyer correctly means that Apple apparently isn’t planning on letting third-party resellers distribute the device until “at least 2025”. And even demo units may be hard to come by initially, with most stores only getting one or two thanks to limited supply and high cost per unit.

Apple Vision Pro is currently only scheduled for release in the United States, but the Bloomberg report touches on plans to expand that next year. 

With the company currently in discussions regarding an international release, the report claims that the UK and Canada are likely to be the first places outside the U.S to enjoy the headset, with a release planned before the end of 2024.

Vision Pro problems?

The Vision Pro is reportedly so hard to produce that The Financial Times recently reported that Apple was cutting Vision Pro production in half from 1 million units for the first year. 

In addition, the new Bloomberg report says that during testing "Apple determined that some people with smaller body sizes and heads would struggle to wear the headset for more than half an hour or so." To be fair, the Vision Pro offers only 2 hours of battery life, but 30 minutes is a short period of time. 

To counteract this issue Apple has apparently developed a second strap that goes across the top of the Vision Pro wearer's head, but we've heard that this accessory will be optional. So you'll potentially need to pay more than the $3,500 starting price to get the most comfortable fit. 

Last but not least, the front glass panel may be easy to scratch, but Apple will reportedly alert users if they are close to a wall or object. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.