While it may seem like a niche product, Apple has big plans for its upcoming Vision Pro headset. Indeed, Apple reportedly sees augmented reality as one day replacing the iPhone, which is obviously an enormous ask given the company shipped over 225 million handsets in 2022.
Even the most wildly optimistic Apple fan wouldn’t predict the $3,500 Vision Pro making a dent in that to begin with, but now a report from China claims to offer insights on what the company is expecting from its first AR headset.
However, this report contradicts an earlier report from the Financial Times which suggested Apple has slashed its orders from a million to 400,000 for the whole of 2024. The same as the first two quoted numbers, but in an order that reveals a far less optimistic picture of where Apple will end up.
Even taking one million units in 2024 as accurate, hitting ten million three years later feels like a stretch. Yes, Meta was celebrating the sale of nearly 20 million Quest 2 headsets back in March, but that’s a product that costs $400 — or just 11.5% of the Vision Pro’s MSRP.
To be honest, I'm a little suspicious of this news.10 million Vision Pros in 2025?That's just not realistic. https://t.co/8pqMhw13mzNovember 28, 2023
Of course, Apple is rumored to be coming up with a cheaper headset in 2025 which could give sales a boost. It’s also hard to overestimate the brand power Apple has to create product categories out of nowhere. Just look at how AirPods went from a social media laughing stock to Apple’s second best-selling product in just two years.
Elsewhere, the report claims that Apple will pay $1,700 for parts and manufacturing of the first generation of Vision Pro, which isn’t far off the $1,509 we heard back in June.
Instinctively, you might feel outraged at the prospect of Apple charging consumers more than double the cost of the raw materials, but that’s not entirely fair. Not only are there various associated costs with manufacturing and distribution (think assembly, distribution and even marketing) but this is a product that Apple has spent years researching and developing with a trail of patents to show for it.
All the same, it took Meta less than four months to slash the price of its Meta Quest Pro headset by a third. It will be interesting to see how long Apple thinks it can maintain a $3,500 price tag if units begin gathering dust on store shelves.
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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.
At $3500 I don't see Apple selling more than a million, especially since Apple's headset has no existing VR, AR, or MR apps or games for Vision Pro headset. We still don't know the release date of Apple's first VR, AR, MR headset? If it comes out in mid 2024, then that leaves a year and a half to sell 10 million Vision Pro headsets. If Apple does sell 10 million, then Apple's revenue from that headset will be 35 billion dollars from 10 million headsets. I just don't see Apple selling that many, especially at $3500.Reply