Apple's Vision Pro buying experience is taking shape as a potential March launch nears

Vision Pro eyesight
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple announced the Vision Pro headset back in June of 2023 it also announced that the company would release the product in early 2024. We still don't know exactly when that will be, but previous reports have claimed that it would arrive in or around March. That means that there is only so much time left before Apple's biggest bet since the Apple Watch will be unleashed unto the world, and Apple is getting ready.

Reports have pointed to Apple requiring potential Vision Pro customers to buy their new headsets in person, or at least buy them online with an in-person pickup. The reason is thought to be the complex setup process that the Vision Pro will require in order to ensure that it fits well and offers the ultimate experience, but for that to happen Apple needs to get all of its ducks in a row. And with the weeks counting down, that's now getting underway.

That process, a new report claims, includes Apple flying some Apple Store employees out to go through multiple days of training before sending them back to their normal place of work to have that information disseminated to the rest of the team. And the process will all begin next month.

Plans are being made

This is all according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, writing in his weekly Power On newsletter in which he says that Apple is beginning to put the wheels in motion to ensure that retail employees have the information they need moving forward.

"The idea is to fly in a few people from each store, give them the lowdown and then have those folks go back home to train everyone else," Gurman explains "At the time, Apple told staffers this would occur in early 2024, around when the company has said it will release the device."

The report goes on, adding that "seminars are getting scheduled now, and training is set to begin in the middle of January. Each employee will be trained for two days, I’m told. It’s a high-stakes endeavor: The Vision Pro’s setup process is going to be complex and not something Apple wants to screw up."

That last part is the key here, with each sale requiring that Apple and its employees get things just right before sending the customer on their way with a new $3,499 Vision Pro. "The device needs to be customized for each person, and a poor fitting could ultimately ruin the user’s experience," Gurman explains. "Every step will be carefully orchestrated, including how retail employees approach a customer and how they place the device on a user’s head."

Vision Pro, coming soon

With Apple's vague Vision Pro release schedule, it's difficult to know exactly when Apple intends to release it. But Gurman says that he "would expect a release to at least occur before March," and it's worth remembering that the Vision Pro will only be available in the United States at launch. What's more, early purchases will all have to be done via an appointment, mirroring the way the Apple Watch was sold following its launch back in 2014.

The Vision Pro is a huge gamble for Apple but it has the potential to change the way people interact with their information and apps forever. Whether or not it will be a success could very much depend on how people experience Vision Pro out the gate, a fact that goes a long way to explain why Apple is being so protective of the whole buying experience for a product that will be among the most expensive in the entire Apple Store.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.