Apple Vision Pro likely to launch outside the U.S. before summer

Macworld

Apple’s eagerly awaited Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, which goes on pre-order Friday and will land in shops on February 2, has officially been announced for U.S. customers only. We assume it will eventually come to the U.K. and other countries, but no timeframe has so far been given for the wider release.

According to a new report, however, that may come a little sooner than expected. In a Medium article published Tuesday, the reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Vision Pro is likely to launch outside the U.S. before WWDC 2024, which likely takes place in June. That gives us an upper limit of four months’ delay, and potentially rather less given that Apple won’t want news coverage of the wider launch to bleed into publicity for WWDC. Could Apple make the announcement at its traditional spring event in March/April? Perhaps that would be pushing it.

For comparison, the first-generation iPhone came out in the U.S. in June 2007, with the European launch following in November of the same year (five months later) and several major international markets having to wait until the following year. Canadian consumers ended up skipping the first generation entirely and having to wait until the second-gen iPhone 3G model.

The reasoning behind Kuo’s prediction relates to Vision Pro’s operating system, visionOS. WWDC is primarily focused on operating systems, after all, and Apple will want to use this year’s conference to promote visionOS and to encourage software developers to write apps for it. A device like this lives and dies by the quality of its third-party software ecosystem.

“If Apple can launch Vision Pro in non-U.S. markets before WWDC 2024,” Kuo explains, “it would be beneficial for promoting the global development ecosystem of visionOS.” More people wearing Vision Pro headsets means more people buying apps and more motivation for developers to spend their time and resources making apps.

That’s a nice idea, but as ever with large-scale launches, there are numerous problems that could force Apple to delay further. Kuo cites three factors that explain why the company initially launched only in the U.S.: limited stock; differences in regulations between countries and having to adjust software algorithms to account for that; and wanting to see if the sales process goes smoothly in the U.S. before expanding the product’s scope. Issues with any of those factors–such as the initial rollout going badly, facing logistical difficulties caused by the long demo, or simply low sales numbers–could force Apple to think again about when it launches outside the U.S.

Virtual Reality

​Macworld Macworld

Apple’s eagerly awaited Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, which goes on pre-order Friday and will land in shops on February 2, has officially been announced for U.S. customers only. We assume it will eventually come to the U.K. and other countries, but no timeframe has so far been given for the wider release.

According to a new report, however, that may come a little sooner than expected. In a Medium article published Tuesday, the reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Vision Pro is likely to launch outside the U.S. before WWDC 2024, which likely takes place in June. That gives us an upper limit of four months’ delay, and potentially rather less given that Apple won’t want news coverage of the wider launch to bleed into publicity for WWDC. Could Apple make the announcement at its traditional spring event in March/April? Perhaps that would be pushing it.

For comparison, the first-generation iPhone came out in the U.S. in June 2007, with the European launch following in November of the same year (five months later) and several major international markets having to wait until the following year. Canadian consumers ended up skipping the first generation entirely and having to wait until the second-gen iPhone 3G model.

The reasoning behind Kuo’s prediction relates to Vision Pro’s operating system, visionOS. WWDC is primarily focused on operating systems, after all, and Apple will want to use this year’s conference to promote visionOS and to encourage software developers to write apps for it. A device like this lives and dies by the quality of its third-party software ecosystem.

“If Apple can launch Vision Pro in non-U.S. markets before WWDC 2024,” Kuo explains, “it would be beneficial for promoting the global development ecosystem of visionOS.” More people wearing Vision Pro headsets means more people buying apps and more motivation for developers to spend their time and resources making apps.

That’s a nice idea, but as ever with large-scale launches, there are numerous problems that could force Apple to delay further. Kuo cites three factors that explain why the company initially launched only in the U.S.: limited stock; differences in regulations between countries and having to adjust software algorithms to account for that; and wanting to see if the sales process goes smoothly in the U.S. before expanding the product’s scope. Issues with any of those factors–such as the initial rollout going badly, facing logistical difficulties caused by the long demo, or simply low sales numbers–could force Apple to think again about when it launches outside the U.S.

Virtual Reality 

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