Apple accelerates Vision Pro production, aiming for February launch

Macworld

Up until now, the launch schedule for Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro mixed-reality headset has been shrouded in mystery, with the company willing to disclose only that the device will come out “early next year.” Logically, since January and February are historically slow months for tech releases, that probably means a spring event in March or April 2024. (Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman is among those who have predicted that it will come out “some time around March.”)

There are hints, however, that Apple has something earlier in mind. In making his March prediction, for example, Gurman noted that the company previously intended to launch in January and had to push back its plans only because it encountered delays in testing and distribution. And now the same pundit claims that a huge push means it could yet hit a February deadline.

In an article Wednesday, Gurman cited “people with knowledge of the matter” in support of his contention that Vision Pro manufacturing is “ramping up” and will be complete, against expectations, by the end of next month.

“Production of the new headset is running at full speed at facilities in China and has been for several weeks,” Gurman writes. “The goal is for customer-bound units to be ready by the end of January, with the retail debut planned for the following month.”

The article also gives an idea of why it’s taken so long to get Vision Pro to this point in its development cycle. The product is so significant to Apple’s plans, and so different from anything it’s sold before, that there are knock-on effects in the way it organizes its stores–which will need storage space and “new fixtures”–and trains its employees. And the manufacturing process is more complex than anything the company has taken on previously.

Ironically, however, Gurman expects the on-sale launch to be relatively muted. Partly this is because Apple already hyped up Vision Pro at the announcement in June, and partly because availability will be distinctly limited–and out of most Apple fans’ budget–in the first generation.

It’s unusual for such launches to be brought forward, with Vision Pro itself subject to endless reported delays and roadblocks in the years leading up to its announcement. Accordingly, it might be best to take this prediction with a pinch of salt and an awareness that products that can be brought forward can just as easily be pushed back again. Gurman himself acknowledges that “last-minute production hiccups or other snags could, of course, push back the planned timeline.” In other words, it might end up being a spring event announcement after all.

Virtual Reality

​Macworld Macworld

Up until now, the launch schedule for Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro mixed-reality headset has been shrouded in mystery, with the company willing to disclose only that the device will come out “early next year.” Logically, since January and February are historically slow months for tech releases, that probably means a spring event in March or April 2024. (Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman is among those who have predicted that it will come out “some time around March.”)

There are hints, however, that Apple has something earlier in mind. In making his March prediction, for example, Gurman noted that the company previously intended to launch in January and had to push back its plans only because it encountered delays in testing and distribution. And now the same pundit claims that a huge push means it could yet hit a February deadline.

In an article Wednesday, Gurman cited “people with knowledge of the matter” in support of his contention that Vision Pro manufacturing is “ramping up” and will be complete, against expectations, by the end of next month.

“Production of the new headset is running at full speed at facilities in China and has been for several weeks,” Gurman writes. “The goal is for customer-bound units to be ready by the end of January, with the retail debut planned for the following month.”

The article also gives an idea of why it’s taken so long to get Vision Pro to this point in its development cycle. The product is so significant to Apple’s plans, and so different from anything it’s sold before, that there are knock-on effects in the way it organizes its stores–which will need storage space and “new fixtures”–and trains its employees. And the manufacturing process is more complex than anything the company has taken on previously.

Ironically, however, Gurman expects the on-sale launch to be relatively muted. Partly this is because Apple already hyped up Vision Pro at the announcement in June, and partly because availability will be distinctly limited–and out of most Apple fans’ budget–in the first generation.

It’s unusual for such launches to be brought forward, with Vision Pro itself subject to endless reported delays and roadblocks in the years leading up to its announcement. Accordingly, it might be best to take this prediction with a pinch of salt and an awareness that products that can be brought forward can just as easily be pushed back again. Gurman himself acknowledges that “last-minute production hiccups or other snags could, of course, push back the planned timeline.” In other words, it might end up being a spring event announcement after all.

Virtual Reality 

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