Apple announces when the Vision Pro will go on sale

Apple's new Vision Pro virtual reality headset is displayed during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, Calif., in June 2023.

Apple's new Vision Pro virtual reality headset is displayed during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, Calif., in June 2023. (Josh Edelson, AFP/Getty Images)


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NEW YORK — Apple said Monday that its Vision Pro mixed reality headset will be available for purchase in the United States beginning on Feb. 2, with pre-orders beginning on Jan. 19.

The Vision Pro headset, Apple's riskiest and most ambitious new hardware offering in years, is also one of its priciest products: It starts at $3,500. The company revealed Monday that the headset will have 256 GB of storage and prescription lens inserts for the device will be available starting at $149. Reading lens inserts start at $99.

In a statement announcing the Vision Pro's release date, CEO Tim Cook did not mince words: "Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever created," Cook said. "Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we connect, create, and explore."

The release of the Vision Pro marks Cook's first new major hardware product launch at Apple in seven years, and only the third during his tenure as CEO.

The device looks like a pair of ski goggles and its underlying technology lets users overlay virtual images on live videos of the real world. Unlike some other headsets on the market, Apple's mixed-reality device will display the eyes of its users on the outside, according to company demonstrations last June.

The Vision Pro will have its own operating system, dubbed visionOS, as well as a novel three-dimensional user interface and input system that is controlled by a user's eyes, hands and voice.

The product is expected to face a number of challenges, as Apple is diving into an unproven market littered with other tech companies who have tried, and largely failed, to find mainstream traction for their augmented reality hardware devices. And the hefty price tag has also raised eyebrows since it was revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Shares for Apple ticked up by 1.5% in early trading Monday after the Vision Pro's launch date was announced. Apple's announcement also comes as the tech sector's annual CES convention in Las Vegas kicks off this week.

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Catherine Thorbecke

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