Eric J. Savitz
Apple on Friday began taking pre-orders for the Vision Pro, the company’s new mixed-reality headset, which starts shipping to buyers on Feb. 2.
On some social-media platforms, fanboys posted that they were so excited about the new device, and so worried about a perceived limited supply of the new product, that they set alarms (no doubt on their iPhones and Apple Watches) to get up by the 5 a.m. Pacific time launch to stand in a virtual line to get one.
Expect the first real indications of early demand to come one day before the shipments start — Apple will report December quarter financial results after the stock market closes on Feb. 1. But it looks like the Apple fanatics really could have slept in.
Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani wrote in a brief research note Friday that “initial signs” point to strong demand for the device. “Our experience with purchasing a Vision Pro this morning leads us to believe demand for the product is strong relative to Apple’s expectations,” he writes.
“We logged into the Apple Store at 5 a.m. PT, right when the product first went on sale, and initially saw an offer to pick up in-store on 2/4,” the analyst writes. “By the time we had clicked through the options and completed the face scan, in store pick up was no longer available and the earliest delivery for the cheapest 256GB option was 2/14. We selected the $400 more expensive 1TB option to secure a pick up on 2/5. When we checked again an hour later, delivery times were up to a range of 3/1-3/8. We think this suggests relatively strong initial demand, although we do concede that Apple has likely planned for limited volumes in the first year.”
Barron’s had a slightly different experience.
I visited Apple.com late morning Pacific time, nearly six hours after pre-orders began. For the 256 GB version of the Vision Pro, delivery was expected in the Feb. 13 to Feb. 16 range, without any local store pick-up options. That’s consistent with Daryanani’s experience. However, for the 512 GB edition (priced at $3,699) and for the 1 TB version (priced at $3,899) delivery was available on Feb. 2, the first day of sale, with in-store pick-up an option for Feb. 3 at Apple’s Palo Alto store. That would suggest ample supply even after the early risers placed their orders.
Daryanani writes that he has seen media reports that Apple plans to produce 400,000 to 1 million units in 2024. At the high end of the range — which I would note is way above most Street estimates — the device would add $3.5 billion in sales and a nickel a share in profits. The analyst thinks over five years Vision Pro can reach $19 billion in revenue and 20 cents a share in profits. The challenge, as Daryanani notes, will be for Apple to bring Vision Pro down the price curve to make it more appealing to a wide audience.
It’s worth noting that if you choose the highest end Vision Pro, and add a pair of $99 optical inserts if you happen to wear glasses, your price including state and local sales tax will actually be a whopping $4,363, roughly the price of four Macbook Airs, 25 sets of AirPods, more than 160 Apple AirTags or a 44-year subscription to Apple TV+. Your call.
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