Apple Vision Pro, the Cupertino giant's expensive mixed-reality headset, was unveiled earlier this year at WWDC 2023. While the headset has faced hurdles and delays since it was first showcased, the Cupertino, California-based company is finally gearing up for the retail launch of the headset. Apple is reportedly scheduling Vision Pro training seminars for its retail employees in US stores ahead of the headset's planned launch in early 2024. Apple retail stores will also likely get new equipment to assemble and package the Vision Pro soon.
According to Mark Gurman's Power On newsletter on Bloomberg, Apple is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the Vision Pro launch. The AR/VR headset is a complex and niche device that will likely require customised setup and adjustments for each user. To that end, the iPhone maker is planning in-depth training sessions for Apple Store employees, teaching them not only how to setup and operate the high-end headset, but also how to sell it to a potential customer.
The company has begun scheduling Vision Pro training seminars for its retail employees and the sessions are set to kick off in the middle of January, Gurman claims in his newsletter. Each Apple Store employee will be trained for two days, and the seminars would include detailed steps for the Vision Pro's retail experience — including how to place the device on a user's head.
According to the report, Apple stores in the US will soon start receiving specialised equipment required to assemble and box up the Vision Pro, indicating that the headset will likely hit the shelves soon. And while it's possible to order the device online, Apple will likely urge buyers to make their purchase at a retail store, where they can get detailed instructions on setup and operation from a trained employee.
Apple plans to launch the Vision Pro headset in US stores in early 2024
Gurman had previously reported that Apple would invite a few employees from each of its retail outlets in the US to Cupertino, California for Vision Pro training. Trained staffers could then return and train their colleagues at respective Apple stores.
The Apple Vision Pro will initially be only available in the US, with a slow rollout of its limited stock expected in early 2024. The newsletter says that Apple is internally aiming for a retail launch in January. The Vision Pro is priced at an eye-watering $3,499 (roughly Rs. 2,91,400), but a cheaper model without high-end bells and whistles is also reportedly in the works.
Last month, Gurman had said that the Vision Pro's US launch could also be delayed to March as Apple conducted final device testing and finalised distribution plans for its first mixed reality headset.
Meanwhile, the company also seems to have an eye on the next iteration of its spatial computer. The Apple Vision Pro 2, codenamed Project Alaska, is reportedly in development. The headset could feature a redesigned, flatter rear strap, among other changes.
In July, a Financial Times report had claimed that Apple had been forced to make major cuts to production forecasts for the Vision Pro. According to the report, Chinese contract manufacturer Luxshare, Apple's only assembler of the device, would make fewer than 400,000 units of the Vision Pro in 2024. The FT report said that the complexity of the headset design and difficulties in production were behind the scaling back of targets.
Apple unveiled its first mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, at its annual developer conference, along with new Mac models and upcoming software updates. We discuss all the most important announcements made by the company at WWDC 2023 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts. Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.