Apple’s Vision Pro augmented reality headset was unveiled last month after seven years in development and is expected to launch early next year for $3,499 a piece. The company initially expected to sell about 1 million of these headsets in the first year, but now insiders say the plan has been scaled back to 400,000 units. Manufacturing difficulties are cited as the reason, which has nothing to do with Apple’s confidence in its ability to sell the right amount of headsets.
This was reported with reference to sources close to contract manufacturer Vision Pro. Financial Times. So far, the only Apple contractor who will assemble the Vision Pro headset is Chinese company Luxshare. It is preparing to launch fewer than 400,000 units of this model over the next year. Suppliers of individual components for the Vision Pro are generally informed of the need to produce 130,000 to 150,000 units in the headset’s first year on the market.
One of the more complex parts of the Apple Vision Pro headset to manufacture is the Micro-OLED displays and the outward-facing “lens” that broadcasts an image of the user’s eyes to others. For the first prototypes of the headset now being shown to reviewers, the displays are believed to be provided by Sony and TSMC. Apple is not yet satisfied with the yield of this type of components, which may be one of the reasons for lowering the forecast for the number of headsets produced in the first year of sales. According to experts, Vision Pro will not be able to pay for itself in this period.
However, Apple is already working with vendors to develop an augmented reality headset at a lower price. South Korea’s Samsung and LG are likely to be suppliers of mini-LED displays for such a device, although the “maximum program” implies that Apple also wants to equip a cheaper headset with expensive micro-OLED displays. Such inconsistencies may delay the release of this device to the market. Canalys analysts estimate that Apple will ship no more than 350,000 Vision Pro devices over the next year, but will ship 12.6 million units over the next five years.