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January 30, 2024
Apple reportedly has sold at least 200,000 of its Vision Pro AR headsets in the first 10 days of the tech giant taking pre-orders.
That is according to a knowledgeable source talking to MacRumors. Apple began taking pre-orders on Jan. 19; Vision Pro will officially go on sale this Friday.
At $3,500 for the cheapest model, it is the most expensive AR/VR headset for consumers in the market by far. Its nearest rival is Meta's top-of-the-line Quest Pro, which costs about $1,000. Meta is the market leader in AR/VR headsets with a 55.2% share, according to research firm IDC. Meta's Quest line of AR/VR headsets starts at $250.
Vision Pro's steep price tag has made several industry pundits wonder if many people would buy them. The 256 GB Vision Pro costs $3,500 but 512 GB will set buyers back $3,700 and the 1 TB version is $3,900.
IDC, which is forecasting a 46.4% increase in AR/VR headset shipments in 2024, said the Vision Pro "is expected to bring lots of attention but will likely ship fewer than two hundred thousand units in the year."
In contrast, Meta has already shipped 10 times Apple's expected unit sales in the first three quarters of 2023 (before the launch of Meta Quest 3) and "will likely" even sell more this year, the research firm said.
"The high price tag of the Vision Pro will likely relegate the device to businesses, while the Quest 3, which is more accessible, is also pushing the limits of consumers' wallets making VR a delight for the affluent, particularly as production ramps down on older and more affordable headsets," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager of mobility and consumer device trackers at IDC, in a statement.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, estimates that Apple sold 160,000 to 180,000 units during its first pre-order weekend with total sales of 500,000 headsets expected in 2024. Brokerage firm Wedbush is forecasting sales of 600,000 for the full year, according to Benzinga.
Long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster, now managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, is much more bullish. He tweeted that he thinks Apple will sell one million Vision Pros in 2024. He also believes that rival headsets such as Meta Quest are "lightyears behind Vision Pro when it comes to underlying tech."
Meanwhile, full reviews of Vision Pro are in. Reviewers generally agree that Apple's new device is remarkable but more work still needs to be done to make it both practical and appealing.
The Wall Street Journal said "the best headset yet is just a glimpse of the future." CNBC opines that "this is the future of computing and entertainment." The Washington Post said it is the "best high-definition TV set you can imagine" but it is also an "imperfect, $3,500 computer you wear on your face."
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