Apple will gradually introduce its $3,500-apiece Vision Pro virtual reality headsets as part of a slow, piecemeal rollout that will require customers to make in-person appointments at the tech giant’s retail locations beginning early next year, according to a report.
The move comes on the heels of reports that Apple has run into major production snafus that will limit its output of headsets to fewer than 400,000 next year — a significant reduction from initial projections for more than twice that amount.
The newly minted $3 trillion company is planning to market the devices in specially designated sections of its 270 locations nationwide where would-be buyers can sample the technology, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.
Apple is reportedly planning on an initial launch in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles beginning early next year before expanding into other US markets.
The Post has sought comment from Apple.
US-based consumers can start ordering Vision Pro headsets through Apple’s online store beginning in early 2024, Bloomberg News reported.
Apple will reportedly begin selling the Vision Pro headsets to customers in Canada and the United Kingdom beginning late next year.
The company is then expected to expand the international footprint to markets in Asia and Europe soon afterward, according to Bloomberg News.
Apple engineers are reportedly working on “localizing” the device for individual marketplaces such as France, Germany, Australia, China, and Hong Kong, those in the know told Bloomberg News.
Last week, the Financial Times reported that Apple was forced to make “drastic cuts” to production targets of the device because its manufacturing partners were struggling with its intricate design.
Apple, which spent seven years creating the Vision Pro, initially hoped to ship 1 million headsets from assembly plants to store shelves over the course of 2024.
But Luxshare, the Chinese manufacturer which was contracted with helping Apple build the headset, is gearing up to produce fewer than 400,000 units in 2024, according to FT.
Two other Chinese companies who supply certain components of the device were told by Apple to prepare for between 130,000 and 150,000 units in the first year, FT reported.
Apple was said to have been forced to revise its projections downwards due to disappointment over the production of the headset’s OLED displays.
The production woes have also forced Apple to delay development of a cheaper version of the headset.
Shares of Apple rose by 0.33% as of 1:08 p.m. Eastern time on Friday.
The Vision Pro will directly compete with Meta’s lower-priced headsets when it’s released next year.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has invested billions in pivoting his firm toward the metaverse, mocked his Silicon Valley rival, saying the new gadget is only for people “sitting on a couch by themself.”
Source by [New York Post]