Vision Pro report paints the picture of a niche product with surprising set-up hurdles


Market and supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a long history of reporting on Apple supply chain details, has a about Apple Vision Pro. There are numerous details of dubious providence, but they all paint the picture of a very low-volume product that won’t transition to a popular, millions-of-sales-per-year product line for quite a long time.

According to Kuo, initial demand was higher than expected but has slowed down a lot. The headset, which is currently only available in the U.S., is expected to sell only 200,000-250,000 units this year. That’s an increase of about 50,000 over Apple’s prior internal estimates, according to Kuo, but it’s still a very niche product for Apple, which sells more than 200 million iPhones a year.

Kuo notes that some of the small-capacity suppliers for Vision Pro parts have increased their capacity from 500,000–600,000 units to 700,000–800,000 units per year. Capacity does not equal the actual number of parts that will be ordered by Apple or produced, but it points to Apple’s ability to make more Vision Pro headsets than will be required for the U.S. market alone. Kuo believes that Apple will start to sell the headset in other markets beginning before WWDC in June.

The return rate, according to Kuo, is less than 1 percent, which seems pretty good for such a fledgling product with limited use. According to his survey of the repair/refurbishment production line, about 20-30 percent of those returns are due to customers not knowing how to set up Vision Pro, which is surely a number Apple would like to reduce. Ease of use and out-of-the-box setup is one of Apple’s trademark features so its surprising to see so many people have trouble, even if it does still represent a very small number of users.

Kuo claims that Apple has not yet begun work on the successor to the Vision Pro (widely expected to be two units: a simpler cost-reduced model and another high end “Pro” model). A new model is expected to enter production at the end of 2025 or early 2026, but that model is expected to have very similar specs to the current version. It is instead focused on improving production efficiency and cost, not changing the user experience.

Apple is gathering feedback from users and developers to inform the future Vision product roadmap, but Kuo says that a new product with a significantly changed user experience probably won’t enter mass production until 2027. As for the current model, the global shipment forecast has risen from about half a million units to 650-700,000 units, but that’s still a very niche product for Apple and a fraction of the volume competitor Meta sells with its Quest headsets (estimated to be in the 5-10 million per year range).

So if you’re hoping to pick up an “Apple Vision Air” for a price closer to $1,499 you’re going to be waiting a while, at least according to Kuo.

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