Vision Pro Pre-Orders Start January 19 (Next Friday), Available Starting February 2

Apple Newsroom:

Apple today announced Apple Vision Pro will be available beginning Friday, February 2, at all U.S. Apple Store locations and the U.S. Apple Store online. [...] An all-new App Store provides users with access to more than 1 million compatible apps across iOS and iPadOS, as well as new experiences that take advantage of the unique capabilities of Vision Pro. Pre-orders for Apple Vision Pro begin Friday, January 19, at 5 a.m. PST.

A hearty thanks from we East Coasters.

Pricing and Availability:

  • Apple Vision Pro will be available starting at $3,499 (U.S.) with 256GB of storage. Pre-orders for Apple Vision Pro will begin on Friday, January 19, at 5 a.m. PST, with availability beginning Friday, February 2.

During the Vision Pro segment of The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2023, I started describing Vision Pro as “a product coming next year, or early next year, I forget which...”, and Greg Joswiak and Mike Rockwell, in unison, interrupted me to say “Early next year.” I then asked for further clarification on the definition of “early”, and laughter ensued — but Apple wasn’t kidding. This is pretty much as early as early could be in 2024.

  • ZEISS Optical Inserts — Readers will be available for $99 (U.S.), and ZEISS Optical Inserts — Prescription will be available for $149 (U.S.).

It’s new territory for a device to cost more if you require corrective lenses, but it’s the nature of Vision Pro that it will not fit over glasses, so there’s no way around this. People accustomed to $10 readers from the drug store may be surprised at these prices, but these $100–150 seems fair for high-quality lenses. I suspect, though, that there will spring a cottage industry for lower-priced third-party lens inserts.

I still have questions about how buyers will provide their prescriptions to Apple. In most countries, people can just buy corrective glasses and contacts lenses without a prescription, but the U.S. — ostensibly the land of freedom — requires a doctor’s prescription. (Ophthalmologists have a strong lobbying group.)

  • Apple 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.

Also unclear at the moment: How many different Light Seals are available? What app will online buyers use to scan their faces for sizing? How much will extra Light Seals (for additional users) cost?

And how much will the storage tiers above 256 GB cost? Here are Apple’s current price deltas from 256 GB for iPad Pro and iPhone 15 Pro:

iPad Pro iPhone 15 Pro
512 GB $200 $200
1 TB $600 $400
2 TB $1,000

Monday, 8 January 2024