What Apple’s Pro Vision – XR Sales Drop Really Mean Today

Recent reports show that sales of the Apple Vision Pro are falling, just months after the space computing device became available to customers in the US.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, supply chain data indicates that Apple has almost halved its Vision Pro shipment forecasts, suggesting the tech leader could be feeling the pinch from reduced sales

This might come as a shock, given all the hype leading up to the launch of the Vision Pros and the plethora of memes that emerged after early adopters started getting their hands on the headset.

But what does it mean for Apple as an XR vendor and the broader space computing and MR market in general? Do falling sales indicate consumers aren’t ready for space computing? Or is it just a natural result of high apple prices?

I’ve sifted through the latest data and reports to bring you my behind-the-scenes insight.

How well has the Apple Vision Pro sold so far?

While reviews of the Apple Vision Pro have been mixed to say the least, I think it truly represents a revolution in the mixed reality headset market. Before the Vision Pro, MR headsets weren’t particularly common. We had the Microsoft HoloLens and a handful of VR/AR alternatives, but true mixed reality was hard to come by.

Now, mixed reality is everywhere, with countless companies, including Meta and Varjo, investing in their own dedicated multi-functional devices. To me, this represents a growing demand for large-scale mixed reality, indicating that Apple probably made the right decision by branching out into a slightly underserved area of ​​the XR market.

To build on that, it’s worth paying attention to the Apple Vision Pro’s initial sales numbers at launch. Despite costing $3,500 (about $3,000 more than the Meta Quest 3), pre-orders for the Vision Pro sold out almost instantly in January.

In the first few days, Apple sold nearly 180,000 units, about 100,000 more devices than the company had initially stocked for launch day. Clearly the demand is there. If customers just wanted a basic mixed reality device, they could have bought the Quest 3 for a fraction of the price.

The worrying drop in Apple Vision Pro sales

So what about Apple Vision Pro sales today? As previously mentioned, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has been revising its 2024 shipment predictions over the past month or so. Initially, the company expected to sell more than 800,000 units this year. Now, they expect sales of between 400,000 and 450,000 units.

This does not necessarily mean that Apple is reducing production of the Apple Vision Pro; however, it’s just that it’s more cautious with its sales projections. The Apple Vision Pro is still doing well in some circles, especially in the business and enterprise landscape.

We’ve seen many reports from specialists using the headset for surgery and product development. But for everyday XR fans, the price of the Apple Vision Pro may be too much to handle. In fact, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, since the products launched in February, stores have seen an average yield of one or two to eight units per day.

Why Are Apple Vision Pro Sales Falling?

So why are Apple Vision Pro sales dropping? I can only speculate as a journalist and tech enthusiast, but I have some ideas. The first is that the economy is not in a great place right now, no matter where you live. Studies show that consumer spending is falling in the US (the only place where the Apple Vision Pro is currently available).

Technology is one of the significant areas facing the pinch, with most customers focusing on paying for the essentials rather than splurging on exciting new hardware. The Apple Vision Pro may be one of the best MR headphones I’ve ever reviewed, but its price makes it out of reach for everyday consumers.

There are also other issues worth mentioning, such as:

Limited global reach

As I mentioned earlier, the Apple Vision Pros headphones are currently only available in the US. Obviously, this limits the potential sales the device can achieve. For example, in the United Kingdom, the government predicts that the market for AR/VR solutions will grow to 62.5 billion by 2030.

Until Apple takes advantage of these high-growth global market opportunities, it will have limited revenue. While Apple hasn’t revealed any upcoming global launch dates so far, some analysts have spotted evidence that the company may already be eyeing an expansion.

For example, Apple has posted job openings for Briefing Experience Specialists in China, Japan, and Australia. This isn’t a guarantee that the Apple Vision Pro will be released worldwide anytime soon, but it seems likely that Apple will expand to new markets.

The only thing the company needs to do is make sure its hardware and software meet the regulations of other countries outside the US.

Growing pains

As I mentioned in my review of the Apple Vision Pro, I think this headset is one of the most powerful and revolutionary XR on the market. However, like any innovative new solution, it suffers from some potential problems. One is the weight of the Apple Vision Pro, which makes the headphones uncomfortable to wear for long periods.

Another is unusual features, such as the ability to create Personas for Zoom and other video meetings, which are rarely completely accurate. Also, the number of apps available for Apple Vision Pro has been relatively limited in recent months.

While the company is investing in creating new apps specifically designed to take advantage of its spatial computing capabilities, users don’t have anywhere close to the selection offered by competitors like Meta. That could mean it’s harder for customers to see use cases for the Apple Vision Pro right now, making a major investment less attractive.

Of course, growing pains won’t necessarily be a problem forever. Apart from expanding its app market with developer support, Apple is also working to update its software to address user issues. Because the company has its own proprietary operating system, there’s no limit to what it can adapt and improve.

This may not have a direct impact on the Vision Pro’s ergonomic issues, but it could make the headset more attractive in the coming months.

The attractiveness of the market

In particular, I think one particular problem affecting Apple Vision Pro sales right now is that it’s not really designed for everyday consumers. While anyone can enjoy using the Vision Pro, the headset is clearly a premium solution with specific use cases.

I see the Apple Vision Pro as an enterprise-grade headset designed for companies willing to embrace the benefits of immersive technology for collaboration and creativity. Apple seems to be focusing on the business landscape as well, creating specific apps for different industries and even partnering with NVIDIA to bring the Omniverse to headsets.

However, many companies still lack the funding and expertise to fully invest in immersive technologies. IDC reported that shipments of AR/VR headsets were down about 23.5% through 2023. However, in 2024, purchases are on the rise again, indicating that Apple could have a resurgence to look forward to .

Also, if Apple decides to release a cheaper version of its headphones in the next few years, as rumors suggest, this could allow the company to expand its reach in the market. A cheaper device would open the door to more sales to consumers and increased investment by smaller businesses.

Will Apple Vision Pro sales continue to decline?

It’s easy to get caught up in all the negative hype surrounding Apple Vision Pro sales right now. Countless journalists have published articles predicting the death of the device based solely on the drop in shipments. Personally, I do not agree with these ideas.

For one thing, many competitors are lining up to offer replacements for the Apple Vision Pro, promising more affordability and similar features. This indicates that Apple will have more competition in the coming months and years.

However, most of the more affordable devices don’t fully compete with Apple’s space computing specs. Other more powerful headphones, such as the Varjo XR-4, share a similar price point to the Vision Pro.

Also, it’s worth noting that many of the Apple devices that have changed the world have experienced teething pains in the past. Many people have seen Apple’s iPhone, headphones and tablets as too expensive in the past, but today they continue to generate massive sales.

Bloomberg has even predicted that in the long run, the Apple Vision Pro will bring a similar iPad-sized market to Apple’s doorstep.

Ultimately, declining Apple Vision Pro sales don’t really signal the death of the headset, in my opinion. They are pretty much par for the course. Apple did not expect to sell so many products immediately because of their high price. They also can’t produce these headphones in the same volumes as their other devices, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect millions of sales.

The Apple Vision Pro is not doomed

In my opinion, the drop in Apple Vision Pro sales doesn’t mean much. It’s just a side effect of a challenging economy, a complex market and a high price. All of these things have the potential to change in the coming years. In fact, the global mixed reality market is already growing at a CAGR of 44.39% to a projected value of $157.37 by 2033.

Apple certainly doesn’t seem worried about falling sales of its space computing device. While the company isn’t particularly open about sharing information, we’ve seen plenty of examples of them canceling past projects that didn’t meet expectations. For example, the company abandoned its electric car project in 2024 despite investing $10 billion in the idea.

Also, a drop in sales doesn’t necessarily mean Apple isn’t hitting its revenue targets. Even if Apple only ships 400,000 headphones in 2024, that’s about $1.48 billion in sales. That might not seem like much for a company as big as Apple, but it’s likely enough that Apple will continue to see the Apple Vision Pro as a valuable part of its product portfolio.

I think as demand for mixed reality increases, especially in the enterprise, and Apple expands its reach into global markets (although it faces some headset teething pains), sales will start to pick up.

It’s hard to know if Apple Vision Pro sales will ever match the profitability of products like the iPhone. However, right now, it seems naïve to suggest that a drop in shipments will pose a major problem for Apple or prevent it from continuing its journey into the XR landscape.

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Image Source : www.xrtoday.com

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