“I’ve never seen a scene like this before.”
That’s the shared sentiment of Pele Bapere, who has just stepped out of the crowd waiting in line outside the Apple Store, holding a $3,500 Vision Pro in his hand. “I can’t wait to go home,” he said.
The group of people waiting outside the Fifth Avenue Apple store in New York are primarily passionate fans who want to be the first to experience the expensive virtual reality glasses – Apple’s first major product since the launch of the Apple Watch. Some people have been waiting here since 9:30 p.m. the night before.
Sharing with the WSJ, Bapere said he will use the Vision Pro to replace his 10-year-old MacBook to send emails, watch movies, or video chat with his mother. However, he will not walk around the streets of New York with the $3,500 glasses on his face.
“I think that would attract unwarranted attention,” he said.
First unveiled at the WWDC 2023 event in June 2023, the Vision Pro is a completely new product line for Apple since the introduction of the first Apple Watch in 2015. With a minimalist design, the Apple Vision Pro has transparent lenses, allowing users to see the outside world while still watching the content inside. CEO Tim Cook called it a revolutionary new product.
“Combining digital content with the real world can provide us with unprecedented experiences,” CEO Tim Cook said.
On Friday, inside the store, Tim Cook was surrounded by a group of fans who wanted his autograph. Yam Olisker, a visitor from Modi’in, Israel, asked Cook to sign his iPhone and Vision Pro box.
“I’m very happy,” Olisker said, hoping that one day, Vision Pro will be able to replace the iPhone.
“I want to be a part of history,” he said.
For buyer Amol Kodan, the experience of watching “Super Mario Bros” in the real demo was amazing.
“It looks amazing,” the 26-year-old man from New York said. “I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
According to Arthur Benhamou, owner of a AI consulting company in Paris, the Vision Pro is so realistic that he feels like he’s seeing the whole scene on a giant screen by the California lake.
“This will become a real computer. It’s not a one-time-use device,” he said, adding that besides the virtual reality glasses, he also bought a white storage box worth $200.
Earlier on January 19, Apple started its preorder for the Vision Pro. According to a source from MacRumors, Apple has received over 200,000 orders to date.
Apple has not yet revealed the number of virtual reality glasses sold. An analyst at TF International Securities predicted that this number would be around 160,000 to 180,000 units for the first batch.
Earlier, there was a belief that no one would buy the Vision Pro because they were too expensive. According to The New York Times, the actual price for Vision Pro is even much higher than the $3,500 mark as this number does not include a series of utilities and accessories that come with it, such as:
A $200 storage box to protect Vision Pro while traveling
A pair of headphones, such as the $180 AirPods, for private music listening
A $200 power bank
A $100 lens pad to create a comfortable feeling
Expert Jitesh Ubrani from IDC believes that the $3,500 price tag is a major barrier, making Vision Pro a device for the enterprise segment in the long run, as ordinary users are not ready to spend such a large amount of money. Expert Shira Ovide shared that Vision Pro is like an imperfect computer worth thousands of dollars, while only being worn on the face.
Therefore, the demand for Vision Pro may quickly diminish after fans of Apple products or curious users have been able to purchase it. In addition, some investors and potential partners are still concerned about the ability of consumers to spend money and time on the metaverse. They note that this technology has disillusioned many people.
Prior to this, Meta also struggled to attract consumers and maintain sales of virtual reality glasses. Walt Disney had to close a strategic development unit for the metaverse, while Microsoft froze a virtual reality platform it acquired in 2017. The virtual reality development team was also downsized.
According to: WSJ, Bloomberg