Apple announced its latest product, the Apple Vision Pro, back in June. As well as the price, $3,499, the company revealed the release date as early next year. Now, it seems it may not be as early as Apple had intended.
I mean, Apple was pretty careful not to be too specific, so we’ll likely never know if it really has been delayed.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter, the intention at one time had been to release the mixed-reality headset in January 2024—and you couldn’t get any earlier in the year than that, obviously. It now seems that the company is expecting to release Vision Pro “some time around March”. Well, that still counts as early in the year, to be fair.
Meanwhile, distribution plans are still being drawn up in preparation and advanced device testing is taking place.
The release is for the United States only, at first, with further countries expected by the end of the year, including the United Kingdom and Canada, it’s thought. That’s according to an earlier report from Mark Gurman in a newsletter a couple of weeks ago.
It’s also thought that the release will be carefully done, with dedicated parts of each Apple Store for the Vision Pro, as well as online sales, but it won’t be sold by third-party resellers as Apple wants to curate the roll out carefully, as 9to5Mac notes.
This makes sense: mixed-reality headsets are still an uncommon device. Personally, I was very skeptical about the Vision Pro, until I tried it in the summer. After my half-hour demo, I was blown away—and the experience still lives with me now. In fact, not only did it take my breath away, it left me feeling excited, moved, even.
Because there have to be prescription lenses available for those who need them, stocking the Vision Pro will be a complex endeavor, which is another reason Apple wants to monitor it closely.
Everything I’ve heard from Apple executives suggests that they are excited about the Vision Pro. And that they can’t wait to get them onto customers’ heads, so I can believe that January was mooted as a release date.
The software beta for the headset now includes product onboarding materials, which are often details kept for late in the software cycle. What’s more, the latest iOS beta, iOS 17.2, allows users to shoot spatial videos on iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max. That’s another sign that the product could be nearing release.
A March release makes sense as well, though. After all, Apple often has a spring event in its schedule, usually to release a new iPad model. It’s been rumored that the entire iPad range will be update in 2024, so a spring iPad release could be the time for another, final pre-release presentation of the Vision Pro.
Apple will still be trying to beat that deadline, but it definitely won’t release a product before it’s ready, so March 2024 seems persuasive to me.