Apple’s pricey Vision Pro headset gets release date

  • Apple has revealed that its Vision Pro headset will be available in the US from 2nd February 2024.
  • Pre-orders are set to begin on 19th January 2024 but no other region has been given a release date.
  • For a whopping R65 000 plus, the most expensive AR/VR headset on the market has a host of interesing and innovative features.

After initially being unveiled in June last year, we finally have a release date for Apple’s AR/VR headset, the uber-expensive Vision Pro.

According to an Apple press release from Monday, the Vision Pro will hit shelves in the US beginning on 2nd February 2024, with pre-orders starting next week, 19th January 2024. The device can be pre-ordered and later purchased also on the US Apple Store.

The tech giant, however, has been careful to mention only a US release date and hints on when it will be available in Asia and Europe are still scarce.

The only model of the Vision Pro that will become available on those dates will go for $3 499 – or around R65 194.28, a price comparable to a fully decked out, highest possible range gaming PC. The device will come with a Solo Knit Band and Dual Loop Band – two options for users to sit the Vision Pro on their heads.

Additional accessories include a Light Seal, two Light Seal Cushions, an Apple Vision Pro Cover for the front of the device, Polishing Cloth, Battery, USB Type-C Charging Cable, and USB Type-C Power Adapter.

In October last year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple is already working on a lighter, more comfortable and possibly cheaper version of the headset, but giving that the device will only be available for wide purchase in February, we may only see this model late this year, or possibly in 2025.

So what does $3 500 get you with the Vision Pro – the most expensive VR headset in the market by far?

The Vision Pro comes with 12 cameras, five sensors and six microphones absorbing information for a complete AR experience. You can see the world through the headset, as if it were glasses, which then gives you an Apple overlay so you can access apps by touching them as if their icons were floating in the air. You can access apps like Fantastical, Freeform, JigSpace, apps from Microsoft 365, Slack, and more.

Apple says the device increasing productivity, but it also has entertainment in mind. You can use the Vision Pro to watch films and series from Apple TV+ as if you were seated in a giant cinema by yourself, for example, if you were in an aeroplane. You can increase the screen size for 180 degree action all around you, you can enjoy immersive experiences like Encounter Dinosaurs. There are also 250 games available through Apple Arcade, like Lies of P.

Finally, you can access all normal social apps like an iPhone, but with the added accessibility of AR. For example, the Persona feature in FaceTime will show you as a digital avatar that moves as you move when two or more Vision Pro users are talking using the app.

Without a date yet for release anywhere other than the US for the Vision Pro, Apple could be waiting to see how the headset does locally before expanding to other countries. This bodes ill for Apple fans in South Africa excited for a crack at the Vision Pro. Apple does enjoy a foothold in SA, but time will tell if the headset hits iStore shelves.


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