Apple announced at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week it’s finally set to release Vision Pro internationally, as it’s now coming to a number of new countries over the next two months. Today, customers in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China can pre-order—the latter of which gives Apple a chance to tap into a massive domestic market its main competitor Meta has so far been barred from accessing.

Update (June 14th, 2024): According to Chinese language outlet VRtuoluo, mainland China customers are being offered 30-minute trial slots at Apple’s China-based stores, which covers all 16 provinces and cities covered by the company. On-site demos start there from its June 28th launch date.

Apple first confirmed it was launching in mainland China in late March, underlining the company’s unique access to that country’s domestic market, which behind the US and EU, is the world’s third-largest consumer market.

Notably, Meta was hoping to collaborate with Chinese tech giant Tencent to bring Quest to China late last year, however talks reportedly stalled, ostensibly making Meta’s access to that country as a non-starter. Today, Meta’s social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are all blocked there.

Meanwhile, Vision Pro is also coming to Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore today, with similar trial and pre-order schemes available through the official Apple Store in those less strictly-controlled regions. The original article announcing international availability follows below:

Original Article (June 10th, 2024): Previously only available in the United States since its initial launch in February, Apple says it’s now bringing Vision Pro to mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, which includes keyboard support for major world languages used in those countries.

Apple says users in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore can pre-order Apple Vision Pro on June 13th, with earliest shipments coming June 28th. Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK can pre-order on June 28th, with availability beginning on July 12th.

Dual Loop band | Image courtesy Apple

Apple says Vision Pro will include DingTalk, Douyin VR Live, Migu Video, Taobao, Tencent Video, and Weibo in China; apps from Yahoo! JAPAN, LIFULL HOME’S, U-NEXT, and Nikkei in Japan; and Singtel CAST, StarHub TV+, and mewatch in Singapore.

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Upcoming apps also include MUBI and Soul Spire in the UK; Canal+, Foxar, OQEE, and SeLoger in France; BILD, OTTO, and ZDF in Germany; Classix and Sportsnet in Canada; and Domain in Australia.

This follows earlier reports in March that Apple would indeed be launching in mainland China in addition to a number of the countries mentioned above. In practice, this gives the Cupertino tech giant a critical reach beyond Meta, which is barred from operating its apps and services in mainland China.

Earlier this year it was reported that talks between Meta and Chinese tech giant Tencent had stalled, which may have otherwise opened up some avenue for Meta hardware to launch inside the tightly-controlled country.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Now I can spatially Facetime my friend in Basel!
    She is in Switzerland.
    It is a town in Europæ.
    Danke dir.
    []^ )

  • Nevets

    Sadly, what we need is better hardware. I'm unexcited by yet another sweaty faceclamp. Bring the same display into a smaller, lighter, more ergonomically designed HMD (made by a non fruit company is also fine for me) and I'll jump at the chance to try it.

    • Arashi

      Book a demo at an apple store near you when it's available. Then come back here and read your statement again. I'm sure you'll laugh at it. The AVP has by FAR the best hardware out there. It's crazy good.

      • ViRGiN

        And it's all obsolete with zero breakthroughs in actual comfort.
        It might be the "best" spatial computer, and even then it's actually lackluster, a demo of the future, with tons of small and big quriks and limitations.

        • sfmike

          Every headset has multiple quirks and limitations. You pick and choose the ones you're OK with.

          • ViRGiN

            We’ve had standalone capabilities built in for years; there were already headsets with eye tracking built in; what exactly did we trade with AVP? It’s literally the same type of headset as DK1 from 2012. Just packed with more of the same stuff.
            They couldn’t nail the comfort, which makes any advancements since DK1 completly irrelevant for actual usage. Especially given the pricing.

      • ShaneMcGrath

        PIMAX has better features for half the price.

        • Arashi

          You're being sarcastic, right? Comparing pimax to Apple, LOL. If you're not sarcastic, then you at least haven't tried both headsets. Do that and then come back here.

          • ShaneMcGrath

            $1299 vs $3499
            Higher FOV
            I'll take the Pimax!

    • sfmike

      You do realize how much tech has to fit into that faceclamp, don't you? I guess not.

      • … and all the heat that that tech generates ….
        Some people just don't get it.
        []^ (

        • Nevets

          Of course I get it. But as with Quest, there is greater scope for better ergonomic design including counterweighting and strap design, which simply hasn't been tried by either Apple or Meta.

          • sfmike

            Yeah, they really dropped the ball on the strap design and sadly third party designers don't seem to be interested due to the small user base.

          • Well, I didn't mean *you* specifically, but there we are.

      • Nevets

        I guess not. On reflection I’m very naive. Though I expect we’re both relieved Apple didn’t build a clock radio into the device, as they originally planned. Apparently it was a close call but they decided the extra 300g would hurt sales.

      • STL

        It is still a stuffy face clamp.

    • STL

      Xreal!

  • Naruto Uzumaki

    Meta has a genius plan watch apple gain 100% of the high end market until 2027. And suck on they re own di$s while they are watching and waiting to lose and in 2027 release a outdated headset

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    "Douyin VR Live" on the region specific app list is interesting. Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok, owned by Bytedance, who bought Pico. "Douyin VR Live" is also available for Quest on App Lab. Not sure about Pico 4, which has a native TikTok app. But this means that ByteDance/TikTok now offers their main app for lightweight social VR on all major mobile XR platforms.

    Douyin VR Live is what you'd expect from TikTok, a social app to share self-created content like dance trends. It adds 8K 360° live streaming, with the description pointing out 360° gaming and outdoor streaming, live performances and "VR talent streams" as well as virtual idol streaming ("Cross into a new dimension where you can enjoy your favorite 2D aesthetics in a 3D world"). Idols/aidoru are (not necessarily human) performers particular popular in Japan/Asia, think Hatsune Miku/Babymetal, an interesting use case for VR, considering the rather obvious affinity of many VR users to anime characters.

    We'll see whether their core audience will embrace it, but apparently ByteDance has a (platform agnostic) plan how to slowly transition their smartphone user base to a fully immersive platform. While Meta aims for a large user base to make money from fees/ads like Apple/Google on mobile, and Apple tries to transition iPhone users with 2D use cases extended into XR, TikTok sort of goes for a Metaverse-lite where people meet and communicate, regardless of hardware platform, with a less radical approach than e.g. VRChat.

    • VrBuTtBoY

      These social media companies are stupid to think that user generated content is ever going to pay for content on their devices. They must be smoking crack with the billions that they've been spending on it already!

  • STL

    AVP is so boring. Whenever I see AVP news, I scroll down.

    • sfmike

      Do we care?

  • ZarathustraDK

    Get ready for the slew of CCP-princelings flexing their wealth in public by wearing a vision pro for no other reason than to show they can afford it.