Apple Vision Pro Release Date Rumors, Specs, and Latest News

Updates on the Apple Vision Pro Release Date

Apple Vision Pro Release Date Rumors and Latest News - XR Today News
Virtual RealityLatest News

Published: September 1, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter

Rumors have been circulating about an official Apple Vision Pro Release date since June’s WWDC 2023. Since Apple announced its entry into the extended reality market, countless industry enthusiasts have shared their opinions on when the new spatial computing device would arrive.

Like many technology vendors, Apple has encountered its fair share of setbacks this year. Supply chain shortages and development issues have left some consumers wondering whether they’ll ever get an Apple Vision Pro.

Fortunately, it now seems like the headset will arrive sooner than you’d think. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is preparing to start training team members on how to customize and sell the Vision Pro in mid-January 2024.

This coincides with Apple’s suggestions that the device would begin to roll out into stores sometime in “early 2024”. So, when exactly will you be able to get your own Vision Pro headset, and what can you expect it to do? Here’s everything we know so far.

What is the Apple Vision Pro?

Though rumors suggest an Apple Vision Pro release date could be just around the corner, the Apple team has yet to reveal much information about the device. We know the headset will be a “mixed reality” device, combining virtual and augmented reality.

However, Apple isn’t calling its Vision Pro an “MR headset.” They refer to it as a spatial computing system capable of blending digital content with the real world. Certain features already showcased by Apple during initial announcements highlight precisely how unique the solution will be.

EyeSight, which shows your eyes to the people around you through the headset, and Digital Personas ensure you can stay engaged in both the physical and digital worlds simultaneously.

With the Vision Pro, Apple wants to introduce an entirely new category of digital experiences. Unlike with other AR headsets, objects aren’t just placed on a 2D virtual screen in front of you. They’re placed around your ecosystem, and you can interact with them using natural movements.

Apple uses an array of advanced cameras to map out what’s in front of a user at any time and translate that into digital images augmented by virtual elements. However, that’s not to say you can’t fully immerse yourself in VR with this headset.

Apple will give users complete control over their level of immersion using an on-device “digital crown.” This means you can shift in and out of virtual experiences however you choose.

The Apple Vision Pro Release Date: What We Know So Far

Since announcing the Vision Pro, Apple has remained frustratingly vague about an official release date. The Apple website has long confirmed the headset should start rolling out in early 2024. The tech giant will focus on the US first before moving the device into other countries, like Canada, the UK, and various European markets.

Until very recently, however, defining what “Early next year” means has been difficult. Fortunately, at the beginning of December, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman leaked that Apple plans to train its employees to use and customize the Vision Pro in January.

This indicates Apple should be rolling its devices into its stores within the first few months of the year. You may be wondering why such training is necessary. Why not just start opening the Vision Pro up for pre-orders? The simple answer is the Vision Pro is really unlike anything Apple has produced so far. It’s one of the first devices created by Apple that’s fully customizable.

Apple isn’t just going to let consumers grab their headset off a shelf. Instead, consumers will need to book an in-store appointment with an expert. These experts will tailor the device to each user’s needs. They’ll help them choose the right light guard, strap fit, and even inserts for prescription glasses.

Considering the premium price tag of around $3,500, it’s little surprise Apple wants to get the customer experience just right. The perfect fit and configuration could be the difference between the Vision Pro becoming the ultimate headset or another VR sickness disaster.

In the meantime, Apple is also quietly preparing developers to create apps for the Vision Pro, specifically tailored to its Vision OS operating system. Developer Labs have allowed some creators to go hands-on with the hardware in various regions worldwide.

How Much is the Apple Vision Pro? Pricing Insights

Before you get too excited about the potential of an early Apple Vision Pro release date, it’s worth remembering this isn’t a super-affordable device. Though some sources suggest the production materials of the headset only cost around $1,590, the device will retail for more than double that.

A price tag of around $3,499 at launch makes the Vision Pro one of the most expensive products on the market. As a result, Apple needs to make sure the functionality and design of the Vision Pro validates the significant cost.

This means investing in cutting-edge technology that’s not as easily accessible as the components used in other headsets. According to one rumor, Sony, which makes the micro OLED displays for the Vision Pro, can only produce up to 200,000 displays per quarter.

This limits how quickly Apple can produce enough headsets to minimize the risk of a shortage when the Apple Vision Pro release date is finally announced.

The tech giant may not be too rushed to release the headset, as it probably doesn’t expect to sell millions of units. This may be why much of Apple’s team is still working on other, more general products, like the latest iPhone.

Will a Cheaper Apple Vision Pro Arrive?

If the price factor has dampened your excitement about an upcoming Apple Vision Pro release date, there may be some good news. Bloomberg and other publications have shared rumors that Apple may already be working on a cheaper version of its new headset.

What this more affordable headset will offer has yet to be revealed. However, Apple could follow in the footsteps of other XR developers, using simpler displays and offering less storage. They may also use less powerful chips, similar to those in the iPhone, rather than the ones in the Mac.

There’s no guarantee that new, cheaper models of the Vision Pro will ever arrive. Some industry analysts believe Apple has already canceled these plans. Others believe multiple new models, including a second-generation Vision Pro, are already in production.

Journalists like Mark Gurman believe the low-cost version will eliminate components like the EyeSight feature and M-Series chip. In a second iteration of the Vision Pro, we could see the arrival of new custom-built headsets with pre-installed lenses for prescription glasses wearers. There could even be a range of new “updated” models.

Some rumors suggest that four new Vision headset models could emerge to replace the first-generation model.

What Specs Can We Expect from the Vision Pro?

So, when the Apple Vision Pro release date finally arrives, what can we expect? Again, the information we have here is limited.

The product will contain 12 cameras, six microphones, and five hand, eye, and voice tracking sensors. The headset will also have a ring of LED lights to assist with eye-tracking performance. The lights will also power Optic ID, Apple’s version of Face ID.

Under the hood, the Vision Pro is set to be powered by Apple silicon architecture. An M2 chip will be responsible for most of the heavy lifting. Alternatively, a new R1 chip will handle display performance and sensor input. Apple says this R1 chip will help to minimize input lag for a greater visual experience with the twin 4K micro OLED displays. The input lag for these displays is set to be as little as 12ms – similar to a high-level television.

From an audio perspective, the company is also investing in spatial audio, with “audio pods” located on each side of your headband. The individually amplified drivers in these pods can even be fine-tuned to your specific needs.

While Apple hasn’t revealed any storage information, rumors suggest the device could come with a 1TB SSD for storing apps and games.

It’s also worth noting Apple is planning on inserting tech from the Vision Pro into its broader ecosystem of devices. This could mean some of the technology that powers the new headset could soon appear in new iPhones, Mac computers, and smartwatches.

Apple Vision Pro: Design Insights

At a glance, the Apple Vision Pro isn’t too different from competing XR and MR devices. It looks a lot like a pair of ski goggles. The headset features a laminated “three-dimensionally formed” glass front. This glass pane allows the Vision Pro to use the “EyeSight” feature. When interacting with others, this projects your eyes onto the outside of the headset.

The glass pane also acts as a lens for the extensive camera array of the Vision Pro. The device features 12 cameras and six microphones, eliminating the need for controllers. Users can use voice commands, hand gestures, and eye tracking to interact with content.

The glass pane is connected to an aluminum alloy frame designed to fit the wearer’s face snugly. This frame then attaches magnetically to a modular light seal. This seal will be offered in various sizes and shapes to suit different faces.

Two audio straps featuring built-in speakers sit on the sides of the headset, providing spatial audio that blends what you’re hearing with what’s happening around you. These straps then connect to a 3D knitted headband designed to be stretchy, breathable, and ergonomic.

A “fit dial” also ensures you get the perfect comfort level. This will be important considering the hefty weight of the Apple Vision Pro, which could cause some discomfort without the right fit.

There will be two buttons on the top of the headset. One is an action button for taking spatial photos and videos, which uses the EyeSight feature to indicate when someone is capturing content. The other button is the “digital crown,” which controls your level of immersion.

This crown will affect how you experience Apple’s cinematic environments and the apps you access through the VisionOS operating system.

The Apple Vision Pro Display and Audio

Like the Apple Vision Pro release date, the full details of the Vision Pro’s display have yet to be confirmed. However, the display’s performance does appear to be miles ahead of competing solutions, like the display on the Meta Quest 3.

Following the WDCC event, a leak revealed that the Vision Pro will have two micro OLED 4k displays – one for each eye. Each display will be around the size of a postage stamp, which offers exceptional pixel density (around 23 million pixels combined).

Apple also says its immersive displays will offer high dynamic range and comprehensive color options.

The Apple Vision Pro’s display may have one limitation, however. The design could prevent users from wearing glasses with the headset. This is why Apple has partnered with Zeiss to create custom optical inserts to replace glasses for users.

The availability of these inserts should coincide with the official Apple Vision Pro release date next year. Thanks to a recent patent application, we may also have an insight into what a future second-gen Apple Vision Pro display might look like. In this application, Apple explored the option of a liquid display, which uses pumps, reservoirs, and actuators.

As mentioned above, Apple focuses not just on visual immersion but also on auditory immersion. The built-in speakers on the headset feature dual-driver pods that can analyze and adapt to a space’s acoustic properties. Plus, there are six microphones for calls, video calls, and voice commands.

Apple Vision Pro Controllers, Cameras, and Sensors

Since there are no official controllers for the Apple Vision Pro, unlike headsets like the Meta Quest, the device relies entirely on spatial computing components, like hand gestures, eye tracking, and voice commands. There are more than a dozen sensors and cameras in the Vision Pro to map the world around you and keep track of everything you do.

Plus, the Vision Pro has its own version of Face ID, Optic ID, which scans the iris with cameras and infrared lights for authentication purposes. Infrared flood illuminators will improve hand-tracking performance in low-light conditions. Plus, there are LIDAR depth sensors to determine the location and size of objects in the room around you.

You should be able to connect the Vision Pro to Bluetooth keyboards, trackpads, mice, and in-game controllers if you want an alternative navigation method. Plus, it’s worth noting you can link your device to Apple’s latest iPhone to record spatial videos for the headset.

According to the settings app, the device will simultaneously record two 30fps 1080p videos, ensuring a 3D immersive experience for everything you record.

Apple Vision Pro Processors and Battery Life

From a performance perspective, the Apple Vision Pro will be powered by an M2 chip (the same introduced in the 2022 MacBook Air) and an R1 chip. The R1 chip is responsible for producing a virtually lag-free experience.

The Vision Pro will also use DRAM (dynamic random access memory) to support the R1 processing chip. Overall, this should mean we can look forward to a highly immersive experience, though more details will likely be revealed with the Apple Vision Pro release date.

One primary concern some consumers have about the Vision Pro is that the battery life may be limited. Due to weight constraints and to avoid VR sickness, Apple didn’t add a battery to the Pro headset. Instead, you’ll need to connect your device to an external battery pack or plug it into an outlet.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A plugged-in device means you never run out of power (although you may use a lot of energy). An external battery pack could also mean you can purchase multiple batteries to change from one to the next quickly.

Apple Vision Pro Apps and VisionOS

While an official Apple Vision Pro release date isn’t confirmed, developers can already begin applying to work with “VisionOS.” This new spatial computing operating system was announced with the Vision Pro at WWDC.

With VisionOS, developers can build apps natively for the headset and explore features like Apple’s new “EyeSight” solution. The VisionOS operating system ensures content can be displayed in the world around you in a natural, organic way.

Depending on your needs, you can display apps in your environment or interact with them in a more immersive environment. VisionOS will have its dedicated app store, with experiences designed specifically for the headset. However, it can also run iPhone and iPad apps and connect to your Mac device.

From what we know, there will be a central “Home View” for the Vision Pro, which showcases all of your favorite apps, similar to an iPhone interface. Plus, FaceTime has been updated and reimagined for the Vision Pro.

Rather than showing your contacts your image, the FaceTime app for Vision Pro will create a digital persona to represent you in Facetime. The “Cinema Environment” for the Vision Pro will allow you to watch shows and movies in an immersive environment. Apple is already working on creating immersive recordings that put users inside of the action.

The Vision Pro will also support streaming services like Apple TV and Disney+. At launch, users will have access to dozens of games.

As a bonus, a new “Travel Mode” option is emerging within the VisionOS developer beta. This new functionality focuses on helping users enjoy the Vision Pro experience when on a plane by toning down various features.

Looking Forward to the Apple Vision Pro Release Date

The official Apple Vision Pro release date is still somewhat vague. However, we could step into the Apple Metaverse sooner than you’d think. The VisionOS developer programs are already up and running, and Apple has yet to suggest release dates will be pushed back.

Of course, the question is, when the Apple Vision Pro finally arrives, will it live up to expectations? With such a hefty price tag, this device is set to be one of Apple’s most expensive products ever produced. The only way it can hope to compete in the XR space is to ensure it delivers something phenomenal.

It seems Apple is going all-in on its new XR journey. Some analysts even believe the company will begin investing in AR contact lenses, and rumors about AR smart glasses have already emerged in the last year.

We can only wait and see whether Apple becomes the next XR giant.


Immersive ExperienceMixed Reality HeadsetsVR Headsets

Brands mentioned in this article.


Share This Post