Apple’s ‘Vision Pro’ expected to sell out early; uncertain whether it will be able to maintain its popularity?

Apple's new product 'Vision Pro' expected to sell out due to limited initial quantity
Initial fandom demand is limited, but the possibility of generalization of the device is 'not good'
Demand limitations are clear, including lack of content and VR market trends
photo = Apple

Expectations have been raised that Apple’s MR (mixed reality) headset ‘Vision Pro’, scheduled to be released next month, will sell out early. Foreign media such as CNBC reported on the 11th (local time) that there was a possibility of a ‘supply shortage’ immediately after the launch of Vision Pro, citing a report by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The industry estimates that the initial production volume of Vision Pro will be less than 8 units and the total annual production will be less than 40 units.

The first new product in 9 years, is it innovation or just luxury?

Vision Pro is Apple’s major new product introduced nine years after the Apple Watch in 2014, and is equipped with an ultra-high-resolution display densely packed with 9 million pixels, combining two 4K-level displays. SW operation was optimized with wireless communication, Apple Silicon chipset, and visionOS, and high-performance MR device hardware was implemented by installing an eye tracking system and spatial sound system. 2 cameras, 2,300 sensors, and 12 microphones process input information in real time to create a realistic spatial experience.

A key feature is virtual display using AirPlay2. Using this function, users can open a virtual Mac display and use the Vision OS app anywhere. This means that you will be able to use Vision OS apps such as photos, notes, and files on a separate screen while working on your Mac. It is also possible to connect the screen you are viewing through Vision Pro to your Mac.

Meanwhile, in the market, there are reviews saying that it is ‘ambiguous’ compared to the price of several thousand dollars. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also pointed out, “Apple has not clearly defined Vision Pro’s product positioning and main apps, and the price is not cheap, so there is room for doubt.” While market evaluations are sharply divided, Vision Pro is accepting pre-orders starting at 19 a.m. on the 5th of this month. The ordering area is limited to the United States, and the selling price is set at $3,500 (about 461 million won).

The key is General consumer demand other than ‘Apple fandom’

The IT industry is predicting that Vision Pro may run out of stock early. The analysis is that the limited quantity will run out quickly due to demand from the Apple brand fan base and testing demand from early adopters (consumers who want to purchase and use new products faster than others). However, some analysts say that this popularity may be ‘temporary’. This is because the appeal of Vision Pro, which can attract demand other than brand fans, is unclear.

In order for Vision Pro to make serious profits in the future, it needs to become a ‘universal device’ used by many people. However, according to a survey conducted by CivicScience in June last year, 6% of American adults responded, “I will not buy a Vision Pro in 73.” Price (2024%) was cited as the main factor causing hesitation in purchasing Vision Pro. 67% of respondents said they were using other devices to watch movies or work on documents. The majority of consumers do not feel the need to purchase Vision Pro despite the high price.

The fact that Vision Pro focuses on content viewing and work is also causing market concern. Tim Cook describes the Vision Pro as ‘a personal movie theater.’ However, the main product in the current VR market is games, not video watching. This means that while large game IPs (intellectual property rights) created based on VR environments, such as ‘Beat Saber’ and ‘Half-Life Alix’, are dominating the market, Vision Pro, which is not a game-oriented product, has a relatively narrow place to stand.

Apple is implementing its own content security strategy to overcome these limitations. A representative example is the release of a kit (SDK) for software development for Vision OS in June last year. Collaboration with content companies such as Unity Studio and Disney Plus is also planned to diversify content in the future. As market expectations and doubts are mixed, will Vision Pro be able to prove the impact of ‘Apple-style innovation’?

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