Apple Store training is reportedly scheduled for January, pushing the Vision Pro launch forward several weeks.
Apple said its advanced Vision Pro headset would arrive early in 2024 and that still might happen, but an analyst with an excellent track record suggests the launch might be delayed.
Apple Vision Pro launch date
According to Mark Gurman’s PowerOn newsletter, Apple is currently scheduling training seminars for US store employees. The training is expected to begin in mid-January 2024, and takes place in Cupertino, California, presumably at the tech giant’s Apple Park headquarters.
That means earlier estimates of a January release are unlikely. However, Gurman goes on to suggest the launch date will be before March. That’s still in the first quarter of the year and fits within Apple’s general statement that the Vision Pro “will be available early next year on apple.com and at Apple Store locations in the U.S., with more countries coming later next year.”
This isn’t the first time Gurman mentioned March in reference to the Apple Vision Pro, but the employee training schedule is new information.
If you need a refresher on what makes Apple’s first VR headset special, we have a complete guide to the Apple Vision Pro that includes all the details currently available.
Store training is critical
The Vision Pro is unlikely any other Apple product, since it requires a custom fit that matches the facial structure of the owner. Gurman expects Apple to allow customers to order online but could require in-person pickup from an Apple Store.
The Vision Pro has a custom facial interface that Apple calls a Light Seal. The lucky few that attended the Apple’s 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference had a chance to try it on and described it as soft and flexible, but Apple measured each person and attached a matching interface before the device was worn.
It seems a similar process will take place at Apple Stores so shoppers can try the Vision Pro with Light Seals suited to their faces.
Beyond the challenge of individually fitting the Vision Pro to each person, Apple will be briefing employees on how to pitch a $3,500 VR headset. Even if the device is as remarkable as Apple describes, that’s a hard sell, when Meta’s Quest 3 costs just $500 and it can connect wirelessly to a Mac or a PC for extra performance.
The Vision Pro competitor expected from Samsung and Google isn’t arriving until late in 2024. Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 are obviously in different classes of hardware, yet the comparison is still valid if you are interested in a mixed reality headset and don’t require ultra-crisp displays and integration with Apple’s ecosystem.
It’s easy to find fault with Apple’s approach to VR, but there are still plenty of unknowns. With a few months, we’ll learn much more about the Apple Vision Pro.