The first major update that Apple has for us this year has everyone wondering how to pre-order the Apple AR headset and how much it might cost you, so we’re here to answer those questions in one place. After the initial announcement of the Apple AR headset during the WWDC 2023 event, the company has been quite reluctant to share any details about the Apple Vision Pro’s availability so we have had a long wait to see what Apple finally comes up with. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman had hypothesized that we could see an “early 2024” release, possibly one scheduled for February, and it looks like he was right.
As for the availability of the Apple AR glasses, the apparent successor to Apple Vision Pro’s AR technology, it’s unlikely we will see those released anytime soon. If you’re among the many who are wondering, “When can I get the Apple AR glasses?” then the answer is that you will probably have to wait till 2027.
How to Pre-order the Apple AR Headset?
The Apple Vision Pro headset will be available for pre-order on the website starting this month, on 19 January at 5 am PT. If you want to confirm your access to the device as soon as possible, you should consider pre-ordering the Apple AR headset to ensure you’re among the first to draw from the Apple stockpile.
If pre-ordering feels like too much of a risk and you’d rather wait to see the real thing in store, you might have to wait till 2 February when the device will become available at Apple Stores across the U.S. February is also when the devices will begin shipping out so you likely will not have to wait too long to try out the AR headset. The global Apple Vision Pro availability has not been announced.
Are the Apple Glasses the Same as the Apple Vision Pro?
A confusing but important distinction to make here is that Apple has two AR devices in the works and the availability of the Apple Vision Pro is the only one that has been confirmed. The Apple Vision Pro is a complete headset designed for an immersive experience for all your indoor needs but it is not a device that you’re meant to wear on the go. The Apple Glasses are a version of this augmented reality technology designed as a daily wearable item, more akin to the Google Glasses or the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, but possibly more advanced.
The Apple Glass has been in development for a while and will likely take some more work while we get comfortable with the Apple Vision Pro and its future iterations. Very little is known about the exact tech that the final model will showcase or the price and availability of the Apple Vision glasses, but for now, the Apple AR headset gives us enough to focus our attention on.
What is the Cost of the Apple Vision Pro?
Just as rumors earlier suggested, the Apple Vision Pro AR headset will cost $3499. Considering the device is packed with interesting tech that is set to showcase its spatial operating capabilities, a hefty price tag was a given, but considering the Meta Quest 3 starts at $499.99 and the VIVE Pro 2 at $799, the cost of the Apple Vision Pro headset is considerable. The $3499 device will come built with 256 GB storage and no alternate design or purchase options have been advertised so far.
What Will the Pre-ordered Apple AR Headset Box Include?
Apple has mentioned a few accessories that will come with the device on purchase, all included in the overall $3499 price tag. The equipment includes:
- Two bands—Solo Knit Band and Dual Loop Band
- A light seal with two light seal cushions
- Apple Vision Pro Cover for the front of the device
- A polishing cloth (a $19 item that Apple sells separately)
- USB-C charger cable
- USB-C power adapter
Will There Be a Cheaper Version of the Apple Vision Pro AR Headset?
Reports confirming that the Apple Vision Pro will cost $3499 is not what a lot of us wanted to see, especially for those waiting to hear about how to pre-order the Apple AR headset. However, if Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter is to be trusted, there might still be a way to get the AR experience, if at a slightly lower quality. Around June last year, Gurman reported that Apple may be working on a cheaper headset with “lower quality screens, either an iPhone-grade chip or an older Mac chip and fewer cameras.” He reported that this device might be set for a 2025 launch but this is only an assumption for now.
“The era of spatial computing has arrived. Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create, and explore.”
—Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO
It’s difficult to estimate whether a “cheaper” model will still figure into many budgets, but once the reviews of the Apple Vision Pro start to pour out after 2 February, it will likely make the device appealing enough for Apple enthusiasts to consider purchasing. The current Apple Vision Pro availability is designed to push the “premium” brand image that the company cherishes so it is unlikely that the next version will be for the masses entirely either.
What OS Will the Apple AR Headset Use?
The much-awaited Apple Vision Pro will come equipped with a dual-chip design. The M2 chip will power the VisionOS and handle all the computing and visual details that the headset is designed to support, while the R1 chip will work to support all the input processing from the cameras and sensors, providing an immersive experience and alternatively allowing you to be present in your environment as well.
The Apple Vision Pro is not the first headset to enter the market but it is set to be the toughest competitor the Meta Quest headset will see for now. If augmented reality is something you’ve been wanting to explore, then figuring out how to pre-order an Apple AR headset is the first step in making it happen.
What About the Apple Vision Pro Battery Life?
One aspect to consider before we get to the Apple Vision Pro availability date and purchase is that the battery life of the device is two hours and this is not the headset itself but the external battery pack it needs to be attached to. For extended use of the devices, you will have to remain plugged into a power source for the device to function, limiting mobility when you have the headset on. This is not a major issue, considering you shouldn’t walk around with your vision obstructed, but it does add an element of consideration to the purchase.
Additionally, MacRumors recently reported that Apple had edited its product page to mention that the battery life could be extended to 2.5 hours when watching 2D content, essentially simple video playback, which might be a big part of your device usage anyway.
What are the Zeiss Optical Inserts?
The Apple AR headset does its best to provide a great visual experience but not all of us can boast 20/20 vision, which might dissuade you from buying the device. In case you want to buy the device for yourself without having cumbersome glasses in the way or getting contacts, the Apple AR headsets can be purchased with Zeiss Optical Inserts, both readers and prescription, for an additional price. And how much will you have to pay for the Zeiss Optical Inserts?
The Zeiss Optical Inserts—Readers are priced at $99 and the ZEISS Optical Inserts—Prescription is priced at $149. These vision-correcting lenses are an interesting detail, but Apple has stated nothing about exactly how they will be incorporated into the device. Once pre-orders open up, we should learn more about how these lenses will be customized but for now, this is all their announcement includes.
“For those with vision correction needs, ZEISS Optical Inserts are available with a prescription or as readers that magnetically attach to Vision Pro, allowing users to take full advantage of the display’s incredible sharpness and clarity.”
If you’re still wondering, “When can I get the Apple Vision Pro?” then have 19 January and 2 February marked on your calendars because the dates suggest that you could have your Apple AR headset in less than a month. Once Apple Vision Pro’s availability starts to rake in buyers, we should know more about whether there is truly a market for such an expensive device. Analysts predict that the headset will not be a big part of Apple’s revenue considering its target audience is smaller than its regular pool of customers, but nothing is certain just yet.