Apple Might Have Sold Up To 180,000 Vision Pro Headsets Over Pre-Order Weekend. Apple’s new Vision Pro mixed reality headset officially went up for pre-order on Friday, and early estimates suggest the tech giant may have sold between 150,000 to 180,000 units over the launch weekend.
The Vision Pro is Apple’s first foray into the mixed reality space, combining both augmented and virtual reality capabilities. It features two ultra high-resolution displays, spatial audio, hand tracking, face tracking, eye tracking and more. Pre-orders opened up on January 20th with the headset priced starting at $1799.
Estimating Vision Pro Pre-Order Sales
Apple does not reveal pre-order or sales numbers, so analysts have to rely on various data points to estimate demand. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable Apple analyst from TF International Securities, his supply chain checks indicate that Apple sold 150,000 to 180,000 Vision Pro headsets over the pre-order weekend.
Some key data points backing up this estimate:
- On Friday when pre-orders opened, the Vision Pro shipping date already slipped to early March for new orders on Apple.com. This signals strong initial demand.
- Shipping times continued slipping over the weekend. As of Monday, new orders won’t arrive until April.
- Searches related to Vision Pro pre-orders surged on Friday and remained high throughout the weekend, according to Google Trends data.
- Multiple analysts reported seeing lines at Apple Stores for Vision Pro pre-orders, with stock selling out rapidly.
- Resellers like eBay already have Vision Pro listings well above retail pricing, indicating tight supply.
Based on these signals, Kuo’s estimated range of 150,000 to 180,000 pre-order sales seems reasonable. For comparison, the Apple Watch Series 4 sold an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 units during its first pre-order weekend in 2018.
Why Are Pre-Order Numbers Important?
Analysts closely watch pre-order and early sales data of new products to gauge consumer demand and predict how successful the device will be. Strong pre-order numbers for the Vision Pro suggests high interest in the new mixed reality headset.
For a first-generation product in a new category, estimated sales of 150,000 to 180,000 units over a single weekend is very promising for Apple. It shows there is an appetite among consumers for a high-end VR/AR headset.
However, the Vision Pro is not expected to sell in iPhone-like numbers out of the gates. Most analysts predict the headset will only sell 1 million to 3 million units in 2023. That’s because the $1799 price point limits the target audience mostly to early adopters and professionals.
Still, if Apple can sell around 150,000 to 180,000 units in a weekend at this high pricing, it bodes well for future iterations as the technology improves and prices eventually drop. The Vision Pro pre-order estimates provide an early glimpse of the long-term potential for Apple in the VR/AR market.
Why Are So Many People Pre-Ordering the Vision Pro?
For a device starting at $1799, estimated sales of 150,000 to 180,000 units over a single weekend is impressive. What’s driving people to pre-order the Vision Pro given the high cost of entry? There are several likely factors:
- Apple ecosystem loyalty – Many Apple users are keen to experience Apple’s take on VR/AR and seamless integration with other Apple devices. The Vision Pro works only with Apple products.
- Curiosity about new technology – The VR/AR market is still in its early stages but expected to grow exponentially. Early adopters want to experience this emerging technology firsthand.
- Focus on professionals – The Vision Pro targets creative pros through features like 3D scanning and advanced media creation tools. Many are pre-ordering for professional use cases.
- Novelty factor – The Vision Pro introduces all-new mixed reality capabilities never seen before in a consumer headset. People want to be among the first to try innovative features like shared experiences.
- Supply constraints – Potential buyers are pre-ordering quickly because of rumors of limited supply, rather than risk facing shortages later on.
Overall, the estimated strong pre-order demand stems from a combination of Apple’s brand appeal, curiosity around novel technology, and supply scarcity. This hints at bright prospects for VR/AR as more headsets reach the mass market.
What Does Strong Demand Signal for the VR/AR Market?
If Apple did sell 150,000 to 180,000 Vision Pro headsets in a weekend, it would make the device among the most successful VR/AR product launches. For example, the Oculus Quest 2 was estimated to have sold around 180,000 units at launch in 2020.
Strong pre-order demand for the Vision Pro suggests there is significant consumer interest in virtual and mixed reality technology. And this is for a first-generation product priced at a premium.
For the overall VR/AR market, early Vision Pro demand signals:
- Mainstream appeal is growing as people become more familiar with practical use cases.
- Consumers view AR/VR as the next evolution of personal computing and want to adopt early.
- There is pent-up demand for compelling mixed reality experiences using intuitive inputs like hand tracking.
- High-end headsets with advanced features are seen as worthwhile investments by professionals,enterprise customers, and enthusiasts.
- As prices eventually decline over time, broad VR/AR adoption seems highly likely.
If Apple sells millions of Vision Pro units in 2023 as predicted, it will represent a major leap for the VR/AR market. This will give the entire ecosystem a boost and benefit other device makers. The first weekend of pre-orders suggest strong momentum heading into the public launch.
How Successful Can VR/AR Become in the Long Run?
The hot start for Vision Pro pre-orders provides a glimpse at the immense potential of virtual and augmented reality technology over the next 5 to 10 years.
Here are some bullish forecasts on the long-term outlook for VR/AR:
- Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts the VR/AR market will grow to over $1 trillion in revenue by 2030.
- Goldman Sachs forecasts that over $95 billion will be spent on extended reality headsets and services in 2025, rising to $182 billion by 2030.
- Bloomberg Intelligence sees nearly 75 million VR/AR headsets shipping annually by 2025, and over 160 million per year by 2030.
- IDC predicts nearly 50 million AR headsets alone will ship in 2026 as smart glasses gain traction.
Driving this growth is the myriad of use cases emerging across gaming, live events, social media, fitness, workplace collaboration, telehealth, education, prototyping, and more.
As the technology matures and headsets become smaller, lighter, more powerful and affordable, analysts expect VR/AR to become ubiquitous – similar to PCs and smartphones today. If Vision Pro sales hit 150,000+ units out of the gate, it supports the notion that consumers are ready to embrace this next major computing platform.
Why VR/AR Adoption Has Taken Time
Virtual and augmented reality technology has been around for decades, but only recently started gaining significant mainstream traction. There are some valid reasons why broad consumer adoption has taken time:
Expensive hardware – Sophisticated VR/AR headsets have carried premium price tags, keeping them out of reach for many households. The Vision Pro starts at $1799. As component costs decrease over time, prices will fall.
Chunky hardware – Early VR headsets were large and heavy, sometimes requiring external cameras and cables. Newer all-in-one designs are slimming down. Form factors will continue improving.
Limited use cases – It has taken time for compelling VR/AR apps to develop beyond basic games and gimmicks. We’re now seeing practical use cases for work collaboration, fitness, medical care, etc.
Sickness issues – Motion sickness from VR has turned some users off. But refresh rates and motion tracking are improving to make experiences smoother.
The Vision Pro demonstrates how far hardware and software capabilities have come. As technology improves and prices drop, VR/AR adoption will resemble the growth trajectories of other disruptive tech like smartphones. The promising pre-order numbers suggest that inflection point is getting closer.
Vision Pro Sales Estimates Through 2023
Although Apple does not break out sales figures, analysts will develop estimates for Vision Pro headset shipments based on supply chain checks and channel partner feedback.
Here are some initial 2023 sales projections for the Vision Pro following the pre-order weekend:
- Ming-Chi Kuo – 2 to 3 million units in 2023
- Jeff Pu at Haitong International Securities – 2.5 million units
- Samik Chatterjee at J.P. Morgan – 1.4 million units
- Mark Gurman at Bloomberg – Over 1 million units