Apple's Vision Pro costs big bucks to buy and repair ... just don't mention the box design
Still, up to 180,000 units sold under pre-order and China gray market prepping locals
The old joke among less experienced tech product reviewers is that writing the review starts with opening the box. In the case of Apple's Vision Pro, critics are finding that the, er, box lacks the aestethics that a buyer might expect given the hefty price tag.
The box that unites the expensive headset with some pretty seriously overindulgent packaging is "very large," MacRumors reports. But if you expected to be wowed, it's time to calm down. Although it "mirrors" the look of other Apple device boxes, anyone "hoping for an exciting new packaging design for the new product line will be disappointed."
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The suggestion appears to be that with an expected price tag of between £3,499 and £3,699 in the UK or starting at $3,499 in the US, the beholder should expect something more from the outer cardboard shell that protects the device in transit. Incidentally, Apple employees are reportedly also getting a 25 percent discount on the hardware.
Still, the price tag isn't deterring the Apple faithful. The Vision Pro is due to be released next month and according to prophetic analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has already sold out its pre-order stock, which equates to between 160,000 and 180,000 units.
He reckons it is a niche product so it likely won't have the same sales mileage as an iPhone or Mac. Half a million of the headsets are expected to be sold in 2024, and Kuo warns that demand could wane after initial interest.
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Getting hold of one after the rush might not be that hard, but fanatics in China may have to pay even more than Brits. The mixed-reality headset is being touted for sale in the Middle Kingdom's gray market with profiteering resellers set to double the official price.
The dodgy dealers are planning to travel overseas to get hold of the product before it is officially launched in China, some time after North America and Europe, tapping into local demand for luxury items.
The price is just one consideration for buyers of the Vision Pro. Fixing the thing could prove eye-wateringly expensive too. Apple's website says that correcting cracks to the glass screen could cost around $799 and any damage to other parts of the Pro could cost as much as $2,399.
Buyers – especially those with children – could do worse than pay for AppleCare+. Or they could just not buy the goggles, go take a walk in the park or go for a drink.
Apple has just 150 apps that were updated for the Vision Pro so plenty of developers aren't customizing their software for the headset, perhaps indicating that they think their time is better served elsewhere. Or perhaps it is because some app makers are still pissed off about Apple's increasingly shaky commission structure. ®