Apple Vision Pro: How much will it cost when it goes on sale in the US today?

Customers face waiting periods of up to four weeks to receive VR headset device

The new Apple Vision Pro headset is the company's first major release since the Apple Watch nine years ago. AFP
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Apple Vision Pro, the technology company's first major product release since the Watch in 2015, is available to Apple Store customers in the US today.

Priced at $3,499 (Dh12,850), the device marks Apple’s arrival into the world of computers you wear on your face.

It has been described by chief executive Tim Cook as a new era of “spatial computing” – a melding of virtual, augmented and mixed reality, or basically having the apps operating around you.

The headset allows users to see the environment around them and interact with apps and features. Users will be able to use their eyes and hands to navigate through the apps and use their voice to search.

It promises to offer a whole new experience when it comes to watching movies, particularly those in 3D, as well as playing games and video calling.

Pre-orders for the device began on January 19 ahead of its February 2 US release, with current orders estimated to have a three to four-week wait.

Here, The National takes a look at what customers can expect from the headset device.

What features does the Vision Pro have?

Worn on the face, the Vision Pro allows users to see the environment around them, as well as interact with the apps, watch movies or read emails.

A small digital crown on the side adjusts the level of virtual reality immersion.

The device can blend digital content with the physical world, while using spatial experiences in the visionOS (operating system) in what many critics have said is the best video pass-through yet.

Intuitive gestures will allow users to interact with apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using a virtual keyboard or dictation to type.

With virtual assistant Siri, users can quickly open or close apps and play.

Some reviewers have described the device as the future of computing and entertainment.

The sharp and colourful screens, backed by a fast processor, allow the device to put the user into films or games and could well herald a new era for 3D movies, which have thus far failed to really take off in any serious way.

Watch: Apple unveils long-awaited Vision Pro headset

Apple unveils long-awaited Vision Pro headset

Apple unveils long-awaited Vision Pro headset

Another game-changer could be how we view sports.

The visionOS NBA app allows streaming up to five broadcasts live or on-demand at once and access to real-time statistics, while the PGA Tour app will offer 3D models of golf courses and will display key information such as leader boards and scorecards.

The MLB baseball app immerses users in a ballpark with a view from home plate and stats from each pitch – a feature available through linear TV viewing but altogether different when it's viewed on a headset.

What apps will Apple Vision Pro have?

Apple said more than 600 apps and games will be available on visionOS, alongside more than a million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS.

But it won't have tailored apps from Netflix, Spotify and YouTube for now.

“Our members will be able to enjoy Netflix on the web browser on the Vision Pro, similar to how our members can enjoy Netflix on Macs,” California-based Netflix told Bloomberg.

Apple's visionOS will have its own TV+ streaming service, which includes Disney+, Max, Peacock, ESPN and Amazon Prime Video.

As mentioned, it will have PGA Tour Vision, which uses real-time shot tracking layered on top of 3D models of real golf courses alongside key stats, the NBA app, MLB and MLS Season Pass.

The IMAX app will offer 2D and 3D content, while fans of Game of Thrones fans will have access to a Max app feature based on the HBO hit series.

“With the Max app for Apple Vision Pro, fans can transform their space using the Iron Throne Room environment for an immersive experience that brings viewers into the iconic Red Keep,” said Casey Bloys, chairman and chief executive of HBO and Max Content.

“The intricate Targaryen-era adornments will make fans feel like they’re watching the programming available on Max in Westeros during the height of their reign.”

For gamers, the Vision Pro works with popular game controllers, including PlayStation DualSense and the Xbox Wireless Controller.

Apps like Hold the World transport users to London’s Natural History Museum with Sir David Attenborough, while solAR, Sky Guide and Night Sky transport users into their own personal planetarium.

How much does it cost?

The Vision Pro is available at a starting price of $3,499 with 256GB of storage. Apple is providing a 12-month financing option for this model, which equates to $291.58 per month.

Additionally, there are other storage options, including a 512GB version priced at $3,699 and a 1TB version priced at $3,899.

AppleCare Plus, the company’s protection plan for accidental damage, is priced at about $499. A travel case to protect the device from dust and scratches is available separately for $199. An extra battery will cost $199 while prescription lens inserts can be bought for $149.

How to buy Vision pro?

When customers buy Vision Pro, they need to scan their face with an iPhone or iPad with face ID. This helps the company to determine the right size headband.

Buyers need the latest version of the Apple Store app for the face scan.

Customers can place the order by going to the Apple Store page that says delivery of the product will start from February 2.

How many Vision Pro shipments are expected

IDC expects Apple to ship fewer than 200,000 units this year. Earlier, KGI Securities analyst Christine Wang also said she expected shipments of 200,000 in the first year.

In contrast, Meta shipped more than 10 times Apple's expected volume in the first three quarters of last year, according to IDC calculations.

Credit Suisse predicted Apple could ship more than a million in the first year.

The company sold more than 1.4 million iPhones in the first year after its launch in June 2007, generating about $630 million in sales.

Updated: February 02, 2024, 9:25 AM