Apple’s Vision Pro VR Headset Now Available In Stores—Can It Beat Meta’s Quest?

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Inc. launched its version of an augmented reality (AR) headset, the Apple Vision Pro, on Friday.
  • The new product aims to directly compete with Meta Platforms Inc.’s virtual reality (VR) headset, but the Apple Vision Pro costs seven times more than Meta’s Quest 3 headset.
  • Analysts speculated that the Vision Pro’s high price tag would be affordable mostly for businesses, rather than individual consumers.
  • Although the VR market has slowed over the past year, analysts are optimistic about Apple’s Vision Pro.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) moved into augmented reality (AR) with Friday’s launch of the Apple Vision Pro headset, setting it up for head-to-head competition with Meta Platforms Inc.

Apple‘s headset uses 12 cameras, six microphones, and five sensors to overlay applications on the user’s surroundings, and is controlled entirely by hands, eyes, and voice.

The AR computing experience runs on the new visionOS operating system and is compatible with more than a million apps on the company’s app store. Priced starting at $3,499, Apple’s foray into virtual reality (VR) comes with a significantly steeper price tag than competitor Meta’s (META) Quest 3 headset, which starts around $500 and uses controllers.

International Data Corp. analysts said in part that the “high price tag of the Vision Pro will likely relegate the device to businesses.” Deutsche Bank Research analysts were more optimistic, saying that “while the high price may slow initial adoption, the Vision Pro launch expands Apple’s ecosystem and diversifies revenue streams beyond the iPhone over time.”

Apple has also announced a new Spatial Video format that can be recorded via the Vision Pro and iPhone 15 Pro models. It is designed to let users “relive their favorite memories.” Thursday, Meta announced that the Quest 3 would be compatible with Spatial Video.

Although the VR market has slowed over the past year, analysts are optimistic about the Vision Pro. Wedbush Securities analysts estimate sales of more than 600,000 units this year, markedly ahead of the 460,000 Wedbush originally predicted.

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