We’ve known about the Vision Pro for more than half a year now (not to mention the years of rumors), but Apple’s first “spatial computing” device is one of consumer electronics’ biggest question marks heading into the new year. The $3,499 headset was given an “early-2024” release time frame when it was unveiled at WWDC in June, but since then, the company hasn’t gotten more specific.
Apple oracle Ming-Chi Kuo offered an early holiday gift on December 24, narrowing down what he believes will be a “late-January/early-February” release date for the system. The analyst says that the first wave of Vision Pros are being shipped to Apple in about a month, with total shipments numbering around 500,000 for the full year.
The company’s precise target for the year remains an open-ended question. About a month after the device was revealed, reports suggested that Apple has scaled back expectations from around one million to “fewer than 400,000.”
Even the updated 500,000 figure is small for a company of Apple’s massive size and influence. Keep in mind that the company should be shipping more than 200 million iPhones this calendar year.
The Vision Pro, however, is widely regarded as the biggest gambit of Tim Cook’s 12-year tenure as CEO. Not only is it an entirely new category and form factor for the company, it’s also prohibitively priced, even for customers accustomed to shelling out extra for apple products. Add to that VR’s decades-long failure to live up to expectations, and you’ve got a big uphill fight on your hands.
Kuo refers to Vision Pro as “Apple’s most important product of 2024.” Given the years of speculation and all the time and money the company has no doubt poured into the headset, it’s a tough statement to argue.