Appointments are not new for Apple. The company required in-person buyers of the Apple Watch to make appointments when the wearable first launched in 2015. The face scan, however, would be a new requirement, meant to ensure proper headset sizing.
Bloomberg adds that Apple is working on both an iPhone app and a physical machine for scans that will help block out surrounding light, which can dampen the headset experience, by creating a tight seal between the device and user’s face. This, of course, complicates things like a household sharing a single device.
Currently-available headsets, like the Meta Quest 2 or even the Quest Pro model, allow users to customize their fits to try and create the best possible seals. There is also a light blocker accessory for the Quest Pro. Of course, those products are much cheaper than Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro. The Meta Quest 2 retails for $300, and the Pro for $1,000. The Quest 3, set to launch this fall, will run $500.
Meanwhile, the Vision Pro comes in at a whopping $3,500. If the virtual reality headset market is already niche, the Vision Pro’s price leaves a community akin to an endangered species. As Bloomberg notes, Apple cut its initial build prospects from “high-single-digit millions of units in its first year” to just one million before dialing it back again to 900,000. The Financial Times set that figure back even further, reporting only 400,000 are being built.
That early adopter community might expect a somewhat more “bespoke” product in the Vision Pro if it’s going to set them back thousands more than the next comparable option. To this end, Bloomberg reports that Apple is working with Carl Zeiss AG to stock “hundreds or thousands of lenses,” as it allows users to upload their vision prescription information.
As for those appointments, people in larger metropolitan cities like New York City and Los Angeles will likely get first dibs, according to Bloomberg. Though, the publication adds that all of Apple’s U.S. locations will sell the device. From there, Bloomberg reports, the U.K. and Canada are expected to kick off international sales at the end of 2024 before the headset expects to move through Asia and Europe. Unclear when the Vision Pro might make an appearance down under, but Bloomberg says localization is being worked on for the Australia, as well as France, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea.
While the rollout of the Vision Pro will mimic the Apple Watch’s appointment-only buying experience, the tech giant is likely hoping the headset mirrors even a fraction of the smartwatch’s sales, which have become a mainstay in Apple’s lineup.
Image credits: Apple