Apple’s much-awaited Vision Pro headset sold out within hours of pre-orders opening, but the mixed reality device is still “very niche,” meaning it won’t be as popular with users, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst at TF International Securities.
Ming-Chi Kuo, who has written widely about Vision Pro on Medium, estimates that Apple sold between 160,000 and 180,000 units of the headset after pre-order sales began on Jan. 17.
Vision Pro demand stagnates
The Apple Vision Pro costs $3,499. This is expensive compared to other rival headsets that offer similar advanced virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities, like Meta Quest 3, which costs $499.
Kuo thinks the pricing could be a problem for Apple. He said while the device initially sold out after pre-orders opened, order volumes remained unchanged two days later, indicating that “demand may quickly taper off after the core fans and heavy users place their orders.”
“The inability to sustain a steady increase in pre-order demand is a major concern and also confirms earlier concerns about whether the intensity of demand can be sustained,” Kuo wrote on Medium.
For its official launch of Vision Pro scheduled for Feb. 2, Apple set a low target, producing only 60,000 to 80,000 of the device, making it easy for the company to sell out quickly after the release.
Kuo explained that Apple needs just a small fraction (0.007%) of its “massive active user base” of 1.2 billion to actually buy the pre-ordered headsets to meet its launch target. For this reason, Vision Pro “is still a very niche product,” Kuo said.
However, the analyst expects that “achieving a shipment volume of 500,000 units for Vision Pro this year should not be challenging,” even when demand has somewhat slowed.
Apple comes to the metaverse
While Apple prefers to call its mixed reality headset a “spatial computer,” it will likely be used more as a gateway for entering the metaverse, just like Meta’s Quest range of virtual reality headgear.
“We don’t just want to have a lot of apps available for Vision Pro; we want them to work great.”
A recent CoinGecko study points to a decline in value for metaverse properties, but some observers believe that Apple’s entry into the space with its headset could spark renewed interest and potentially drive the market’s recovery.
The Vision Pro mixed reality headset will reportedly feature new technology that gives “users the illusion that they can control the user interface with their minds.”