Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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The debut of the Apple Vision Pro expected to boost the XR headset market

The Apple Vision Pro will be available in the US on February 2, and a new report from Counterpoint Research says that the “spatial computer” will boost sales of XR (extended reality) headsets (though Apple doesn’t want developers to refer to the device as a “headset”).

Counterpoint says that XR headset shipments are expected to increase by a record 3.9 million units in 2024, marking a high double-digit year-over-year (YoY) growth from a small base. Major releases in 2024, including Apple’s Vision Pro, will sustain the momentum generated by Meta and Sony in 2023 with the launch of Quest 3 and PlayStation VR2 respectively, adds the research group.

Counterpoint adds that augmented reality (AR) is projected to grow from a very small base, driven by successful launches like XREAL’s Air 2 and Air 2 Pro. North America, the biggest XR market, will further widen its lead in 2024 as Apple’s Vision Pro is exclusively available in the region for much of the year, notes the research group.

“Apple’s highly-anticipated entry into the XR space has long been expected to mark a watershed moment for the industry. However, we expect Apple to sell about half a million units of Vision Pro, its $3,500 mixed reality (MR) headset, in 2024,” says Senior Analyst Harriet Singh Walia (oops, he called it a headset). “This makes up a low single-digit share of the 2024 global XR market. The first iteration of the Vision Pro headset will primarily attract die-hard Apple fans, developers, early adopters and enterprise users. A more optimistic scenario could unfold if Apple successfully boosts the supply of key components for the headset and experiences higher-than-expected interest from the end market. Moreover, the consumer interest Apple’s entry is generating will benefit market incumbents offering competitively priced headsets, towards which many enthusiasts who wish to try the technology without incurring Apple’s hefty price tag would gravitate, boosting the global XR market.”

Walia says 2024 will see the continuation of another trend – the transition from pure virtual reality (VR) to MR* as major players, both existing and upcoming, rush to launch MR products or add passthrough to successors of their pre-existing headsets. Since Counterpoint considers such headsets as part of its VR category, it remains dominant. The standalone form factor is preferred and is likely to remain so despite Apple’s Vision Pro requiring a wired connection with an external battery case, adds the research group.

Pricing and availability

The Vision Pro will be available at all U.S. Apple Store locations and the U.S. Apple Store online. Pre-orders will begin on Friday, January 19, at 5 a.m. (Pacific).

It will be available starting atUS$3,499 with 256GB of storage. ZEISS Optical Inserts will be available: $99 for reading lens and $149 for prescription lens.

The Vision Pro comes with a Solo Knit Band and Dual Loop Band — giving users two options for the fit that works best for them. Apple Vision Pro also includes a Light Seal, two Light Seal Cushions, an Apple Vision Pro Cover for the front of the device, Polishing Cloth, Battery, USB-C Charge Cable, and USB-C Power Adapter.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.