Apple expecting to ship a cautious half a million Vision Pro headsets as company prepares for early 2024 launch of its first all-new product since Apple Watch

Vision Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

After its big reveal at WWDC in the summer, Apple is now preparing its first shipment of Vision Pro headsets, ready to be purchased from its stores. And, according to a reliable industry insider, it’s lining up a cautious first order of the product from its manufacturers.

Apple is preparing to receive 500,000 units of its Vision Pro headset, according to industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a note published to Medium.

Calling it “the most important product for Apple for 2024”, Ming-Chi Kuo states that “Vision Pro is currently in mass production and will begin mass shipments in the first week of January 2024. Vision Pro will most likely hit the store shelves in late January or early February based on the current mass shipment schedule.”

That February window aligns with previous claims from Apple commentator Murk Gurman, adding credence to the rumor that Vision Pro is almost ready for public consumption.

Ming-Chi Kuo is also saying that Apple is hoping Vision Pro is “the next star product in consumer electronics” — a title it’ll need to earn in order to justify its $3,499 price tag.

Early Vision Pro goals — iMore’s Take

Ming-Chi Kuo’s note suggests that Apple is well on track to meet its initial suggestion that Vision Pro would launch in “early 2024” — though there’s still no sign of a precise release date for the headset. Apple is said to be preparing third-party developers and its in-store staff for a launch in the very near future however, as it's partners get used to the all-new visionOS platform the headset uses.

So, what to make of that 500,000 unit first shipment figure? I’d say that’s a pretty cautious first shipment number from the company. Let’s look at Apple’s last comparable product launch — the first Apple Watch, the last time Apple launched an all-new product. It was expecting to see 40 million units of the wristwatch sold in its first year on sale, but was initially seen as a failure when it managed just 10 million units sold. So if Apple’s is initially lining up just 5% of the amount of units sold by what it saw as an initially-underperforming device, it’s definitely looking to take it more slowly with Vision Pro.

It’s a sensible approach — of course, it’s not a like-for-like comparison between the Watch and the headset. The Vision Pro is set to cost ten times what the Apple Watch initially cost, at a time when the world is still recovering from the financial chaos caused by the pandemic. It's unclear too when Apple will have a second shipment ready, nor how large that will be. And the form factor and concept remains relatively unproven, at least in terms of mass consumption, even with comparable devices like the Meta Quest VR headset line having been on sale for several years.

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Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 


Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.