The WWDC 2023 event was the first time we were allowed a first glimpse at Apple’s mixed-reality headset and it turns out we might be closer to an Apple Vision Pro headset release than we’d previously thought. Apple had set an ambiguous “early 2024” timeline for the release of its device but reports indicate that the Apple mixed reality headset launch could take place in February as Apple is ramping up the production and setting things in place for its release. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a trusted source for all things Apple, revealed that we could skip a formal Apple Vision Pro headset release event and see the device go straight to stores, the price tag understandably limiting how many buyers were actually going to invest in the product.
It is an interesting time for Apple to set a release date for the Apple VR headset release as the market appears to be losing interest in alternate reality or mixed reality headsets if the numbers by CNBC’s Circana are any indication. A recent report by the news page indicated that the sales of VR heads and augmented reality glasses fell by nearly 40 percent to $664 million in 2023, a bigger drop than the 2 percent decline in 2022 sales.
Apple Vision Pro Headset Release
With the Apple mixed reality headset launch set for February, we know that the $3,499 price might be just a little out of most of our budgets but there is still a market out there that should be gearing up to make a purchase. Reports from earlier in the month indicated that Apple was setting plans in motion to gather up staffers from all Apple stores to provide them with the right training to handle the device and give prospective buyers a complete introduction to the details of Apple’s mixed reality headset. The company appears certain that the in-person shopping experience will be what truly sells the device to prospective buyers, and training for select employees who can pass on their learnings to their coworkers should begin in January.
The Apple Vision Pro headset release will be paired with the official arrival of the VisionOS that will power the device, updates to which should be available later in the year when Apple typically releases updates for iOS and MacOS. With manufacturing for the new product running “at full speed at facilities in China,” preparations for the launch appear to be in full swing.
Apple Mixed Reality Headset Details
Many of Apple’s mixed reality headset details have been made available by the company, the device a landmark piece of tech that is very distinctly Apple. The continuous piece of three-dimensionally formed laminated glass separates the user from the outside world and melds into an aluminum alloy frame for support, which then shifts into a padded light seal to block the light out. The device is set to be controlled through eye tracking, hand movements, and voice control, and has one button—the digital crown—for navigation, and one for recording your surroundings.
The dual-chip design features custom Apple silicon, the M2 chip is designed for all the processing power the Apple Vision Pro headset requires, while the R1 chip works to process inputs from all the device sensors. The two micro-OLED displays are set to support 4K quality visuals, and with a spatial audio system and audio ray-tracing built into it, the device should provide a decent listening experience as well. According to Apple, the device should provide 2 hours of use on an external battery and all-day use when plugged in.
The Apple Vision Pro headset release could be paired with more OS launches to enhance the integration of the device with the iPhone. Currently, pairing with existing Apple devices should begin most smoothly with the iPhone 15 Pro that was launched earlier this year. The recent iOS 17.2 equipped the top-end iPhone with the ability to record 3D-encoded high-resolution spatial videos that the upcoming Apple Vision Pro will be able to play and allow you to immerse yourself in. Updates like these will probably push the sales of the iPhone 15 Pro as well.
Looking to the Future with Apple Vision Pro
As we move closer to the release date for the Apple VR headset, it seems Apple Vision Pro 2 specs leaks are already making their rounds. Reports from platforms like MacRumors and GizmoChina indicate that the Apple Vision Pro 2 is already in the works with minimal differences overall, the major ones being in the cameras and audio features. Too much conversation about the device’s successor may find people holding off on a purchase next year and possibly waiting it out for a 2025 release, which is not in the company’s best interest if they want decent sales numbers in 2024.
If Apple’s mixed reality headset details are enough to pique your interest then you should have more to look forward to with the Apple Vision Pro headset release, and now is as good a time as any to start saving up for the $3499 device.