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A February launch puts the Vision Pro back on my New Year’s resolutions list

Published Dec 21st, 2023 6:50AM EST
A person using the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset at home.
Image: Apple Inc.

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With 2023 almost over, we’re getting closer to that big Vision Pro launch that Apple is preparing for next year. And a new report says that production of the spatial computer is in full swing in China. Apple aims to have Vision Pro stock ready by the end of January, with sales to start in February.

Starting at $3,499 and requiring an in-store appointment, the Vision Pro isn’t going to be flying off the shelves. But the spatial computer has its fans, including this longtime Apple device user. I’ve long said I wanted to get the first-gen model. But the most recent rumors made me realize I might be in for a long wait. The Vision Pro might not hit Europe for several months if it even happens next year.

However, a February release date would be a great development for the Vision Pro. It makes me hopeful that I might be able to purchase the device next year.

I wasn’t particularly fond of recent reports that put the Vision Pro’s release date anywhere between January and March. That’s what early 2024 might mean for Apple, and that could be a big problem for the many (or few?) international buyers like me who want to get their hands on this first-gen spatial computer.

Reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that Apple plans to give buyers customized Vision Pro headsets. That means you’ll need to set an appointment in an Apple retail store to buy the device. Also, the launch will initially be restricted to the US, where retail store employees will soon receive training for the headset.

Apple's Vision Pro spatial computer.
Apple’s Vision Pro spatial computer. Image source: Apple

According to the same reports, the Vision Pro might be available in the UK and Canada towards the end of 2024. The EU, where I’ll buy it, might get it later. This prompted me to speculate that I might have to wait for the second-gen device in 2025 rather than get the first model.

But Gurman’s newest story on Bloomberg gives me hope. He says that production is running “at full speed” in China. Apple has been assembling the device for several weeks.

The Vision Pro will be ready by the end of January, with Apple planning to start sales a month later. These are all rumors; I know that. But an early February launch, rather than a late March one, would be a great development for me. I can’t help but hope that Apple will bring the Vision Pro to more international markets sooner than the end of next year.

Of course, Apple could hit production issues that might delay the launch. Or it could take its time with the international rollout. But the Vision Pro is Apple’s big bet on the future of computing. Pair it with a built-in Apple GPT, which is also under development, and the Vision Pro could be a computer like no other. Hence, my excitement about it.

Not everybody will agree with me, particularly considering that price tag. And that could be a reason for Apple to launch the Vision Pro in as many markets as soon as possible. I could speculate all day on what factors might influence Apple’s launch plans for international markets. But it’s all wishful thinking.

The silver lining in all of this is that the Vision Pro launch will get us closer to real-life experiences from early buyers. From the buying process to day-to-day use of the Vision Pro. It will answer my lingering questions about the spatial computer and maybe even convince me to wait a few years before I get a Vision Pro version.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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