Apple’s Vision Pro headset could sell out quickly at launch, top analyst predicts

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, beside an Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, on June 5, 2023.

Philip Pacheco | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple’s Vision Pro virtual reality headset could be difficult to buy at launch, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Thursday.

Apple will only produce between 60,000 units and 80,000 units of the $3,499 headset for the release Feb. 2, Kuo wrote on social media, and he predicts units could quickly sell out. For comparison, analysts say Apple usually ships about 225 million iPhones per year.

The prediction from one of the top Apple supply chain analysts underscores how unusual and limited the launch of Apple’s first major product since the Apple Watch could be. Apple announced the headset last summer, and earlier this month, said preorders would start this month ahead of a U.S.-only release in February, suggesting a controlled and limited rollout. Apple didn’t hold a second launch event to discuss the product.

Wall Street analysts don’t believe the Vision Pro will be material to Apple’s sales in the near term, but they’ll watch the consumer reaction so they can project sales for future versions of the headset.

Technologists are wondering what people will use the Vision Pro for. Last summer, Apple demoed functions such as replacing a laptop, watching 3D movies and viewing panoramic environments.

Apple fans are likely to covet the headset regardless, leading to a quick sell-out, Kuo wrote.

“Although Apple has not clearly defined the product positioning and key applications of Vision Pro, and there are doubts [because] the price is not cheap, the user experience (e.g., giving users the illusion that they can control the user interface with their minds) created by the groundbreaking technology innovations, along with the base of core fans and heavy users, should make it easy to sell out after the release,” Kuo wrote on social media.

The Vision Pro is Apple’s first major new product since the release of the Apple Watch back in 2014. It uses a battery of cameras and sensors to display the real world integrated with Apple software on the headset’s advanced internal displays. The device requires some fitting and customization for each user, including custom lenses for people who wear glasses.

Apple is gearing up for the product’s launch, emailing customers telling them they can book demos with the device, inviting developers to upload software for the headset and even running a national advertisement for the headset this week.

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