Independent tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo maintains Apple may be reducing Vision Pro shipments for its international debut by a wide margin due to demand falling “sharply beyond expectations” in the US market.

Kuo, a respected figure in supply chain leaks and analysis, says in and in a new blog post that Apple has cut 2024 shipments for Vision Pro to 400–450k units—significantly lower than the reported 700–800k units or more expected for worldwide production this year.

“Apple cut orders before launching Vision Pro in non-US markets, which means that demand in the US market has fallen sharply beyond expectations, making Apple take a conservative view of demand in non-US markets,” Kuo says in the post.

Image courtesy Apple

Kuo’s most recent report comes in sharp contrast to his previous statements from February 2024 which maintained that leading up to global release, US demand for the $3,500 mixed reality headset had been initially better than expected in its first month following its February 2nd launch.

Kuo also previously reported that a second-generation Apple headset was expected to go into mass production in 2025, which is said to come in both a high and low-end version. However, now, Kuo maintains Apple is “reviewing and adjusting its head-mounted display (HMD) product roadmap, so there may be no new Vision Pro model in 2025.”

Apple Reportedly Expands Vision Pro Production Capacity Following Successful US Launch

So far the company has confirmed it’s shipping Vision Pro in mainland China in addition to preparing visionOS for multiple languages, including French, German, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, and both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Apple hasn’t intimated yet when we can expect international availability of Vision Pro however. The most obvious opportunity to do so could be at its WWDC event, taking place June 10-14, where the Apple is confirmed to talk about feature updates to visionOS.

In the meantime, the competitive landscape has monumentally shifted with the announcement that Meta is now planning to open its Quest operating system to third-party device makers such as Asus, Lenovo, Xbox, and others. The move is widely considered as an apparent bid to become a foil to Apple’s comparatively closed-down mixed reality operating system, and become the ‘open’ option competing directly with Vision Pro.

Meanwhile we’re still waiting to see what Samsung has in store after partnering with Google to make its own ‘Pro’ level MR headset. Google is expected to provide Samsung with its XR operating system, while Qualcomm will supply the device’s chipset.

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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.
  • ViRGiN

    It’s just making space for the valve deckard running Meta OS

    • Ondrej

      Yes, Valve’s entire business model is about letting other companies tak 30% cut from software, when Valve just makes hardware with zero profit margins as a charity.

      Therefore it makes perfect sense for them to adopt Meta OS.

      • ViRGiN

        > makes hardware with zero profit margins as a charity
        Selling dumb 5 year old valve index for full launch price today rather shows the opposite.
        When they want to subsidize, they absolutetly can, seen by pricing of fully fleshed out handheld PC aka steam deck.

  • Sofian

    Weird, I didn’t see that coming.

    • Ne neither …. lol
      In fact, I was expecting just the opposite!

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      The AVP announcement was followed by reports of Sony’s display facilities only being able to produce 900K displays in 2024, with Sony refusing to expand them, as Apple planed to switch to a cheaper display provider for future AVP. So right from the beginning it was sort of clear they could only sell 450K in 2024, but analysts then started predicting much higher numbers based on the initial response, never explaining where the required extra displays should come from. This leaves me quite confused with Kuo’s blog stating:

      Apple has cut its 2024 Vision Pro shipments to 400–450k units (vs. market consensus of 700–800k units or more).

      Did Apple really cut shipments, or are they still within what Sony’s production allows, but analysts now interpret their optimistic “market consensus” numbers not being reached as a sign of lacking sales? Since Apple never published predictions, it is unclear whether they really lowered sales predictions, or if someone just assumed they must have. The high price for AVP could even have been a measure to limit demand, knowing they could only produce 450K anyway. The rather high 55% margin on top of the estimated USD 1600 build costs hints that way (iPhone 40%-45%), making it hard to guess if Apple in fact overestimated demand.

  • Rob

    VR remains a bit of a niche. Psvr2 looks like low demand and pretty much a failure. Pcvr is still alive but doesnt look to grow anymore. And now apple low demand. Not a surprise with its high price. The VR future points ever more towards Meta quest. With now opening its ecosystem towards other hardware manufacters. To be honest I am happy with it. Because a lot of fragmentation doesnt help the VR industry.

    • XRC

      Stripping out the big influx of Chinese pancake gamers on Steam, most recent Steam survey shows PCVR is actually growing – as in users connecting VR headsets including Meta Quest to steamVR through a gaming PC.

      No complaints about PCVR software here, finding enough spare time to play all the different VR games in my Steam account is the biggest challenge, from my playtime:-

      In Death – 100.1 hours
      Beat saber – 61.7 hours
      Into the Radius – 54 hours
      Half-Life : Alyx – 42.5 hours

      There is also a healthy market for high-end headsets (think Varjo, Pimax, Bigscreen, Somnium), simulation peripherals and simulation software with paid dlc where smart developers can make a living.

      Price isn’t a problem if the experience is compelling enough, as some of the key PCVR titles including the simulators have shown.

      • Rudl Za Vedno

        Why not try UEVR injector then? I just finished High on life and am now playing Atomic heart in VR. I can say AH rivals HL Alyx experience.

        • XRC

          Still busy working through my games library which includes plenty of pancake titles, some suitable for uevr. Just finding the spare time is tricky..

        • gothicvillas

          Requires a high end pc to run properly UEVR. Another bottleneck.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Meta opening Horizon OS now is a reaction to Google announcing AndroidXR and their cooperation with Samsung and Qualcomm for XR HMDs. Compared to the open Android OS itself, AndroidXR will enforce the integration of Google Play services and using the Play store, so exactly what Meta wants to avoid.

      Companies like Samsung already have to deal with Google Play on smartphones, and will do the same on HMDs, competing with others on price and extra features. Meta has to prepare for a wave of XR HMDs following the Android smartphone model, and therefore opened Horizon OS to (some) others. The problem is that with Meta selling at cost, and Quest 3 already using the fastest freely available SoC, there isn’t much room left for others. Nobody can underbid Meta and still make a profit, and a high price enthusiast HMD from Asus cannot dial up the hardware like their ROG gaming laptops, it could only use the same SD 8 Gen 2.

      So I wouldn’t bet on Horizon OS gaining a lot of support yet, strictly for business reasons. Its main selling point is the large existing software library, but thanks to everything VR using OpenXR now, lots of games quickly got ported to Pico 4. And Pico was a small company with minuscule marketshare, compared to what Samsung could reach, who sold the most phones for 12 consecutive years.

      • perVRt

        Pico is not Meta!

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Well I would generally take those statements with a grain of salt, especially coming from somebody who before claimed that things were exceeding expectations. I think that a lot of enthusiasts with money to spare rushed to get the headset, even though that only seems to make sense from a business point of view for developers. The rest took a look and sensibly decided to wait a bit…

    More important is what those developers are going to do with it and how enthusiastic the initial customers are – as widely discussed, it does not seem a sensible choice for most customers at this point. However, should Apple delay its non-pro model, that would heavily impact Apple’s whole VR spatial computing.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      I wonder if the VR spatial computing mocking will end, now that Meta has announced their own spatial app frame work, and developers_facebook_com/m/spatial-app-framework/ not even mentioning the term Mixed Reality anywhere.

  • ShaneMcGrath

    They could of hired me for 1/3 of the wage to tell them this wasn’t going to sell at AU$5500!

  • VR Dragon

    This get’s a great big “Well DUH!”. No tech product is going to sell well at that price. Doubly so for a product that doesn’t do really more than one you can get for 1/7th the price.

  • Mike

    vr didn’t get enough top-quality software to compel users to stick around. at this point most people associate vr with software quality that is far below what you get with flat. from janky control implementations to scaled down experiences and not enough dollars to support things like half life Alyx which was the model for how to do it right everyone now has a idea of what to expect from vr and its not what they are willing to put the headset on for anymore.

    • Anonymous

      Another dumb interpretation from yet another PCVR elitist.

    • VR5

      AVP isn’t even marketed as a VR device and the software you seem to be talking about isn’t even available for it. While Apple unsurprisingly has trouble selling a media consumption focussed device at $3500, Meta ships in one quarter what Apple originally targeted for the whole year.

      Seriously, here is not the place to make the point you want to make. It’s wrong either way but maybe find better evidence for your argument.

      • alxslr

        “Seriously, here is not the place to make the point you want to make.”
        LOL, because, of course, this is an sports site and you are the moderator.

        • VR5

          “Here” clearly refers to the comment section of this particular article, not the site RTVR at large. The hypothetical evidence OP could draw from might still be on this site, just not here in this article.

          • alxslr

            He’s giving an opinion questioning the paths followed by the the industry. Apple’s one included. So since the article is talking about a demand lower that expected, it’s completly related.
            Other thing is if you like that opinion or not, but then you can allways give yours instead of trying to cancel another user’s one.

          • VR5

            I already addressed this, don’t make me go in circles. OP tried to make a point and failed miserably. Anyway, as several people have since pointed out, 400k was the originally reported projected shipment for the first year so they actually didn’t reduce the number? So even that seems to be wrong.

    • Octogod

      Vision Pro isn’t VR. It leads with MR, hiding VR as a option.

      Most people don’t have any association for VR.

      Half Life Alyx is remarkable, but there are dozens of equally compelling experiences. It does take trying them though…

      • lnpilot

        It doesn’t have optical see-through, so it’s just an expensive VR headset, pretending to be not a VR headset. Sticking cameras on a VR headset doesn’t make it something else.The Quest-3 also has cameras, but it’s honest about still being a VR headset.

        • Octogod

          Limiting MR to optical see through is your personal definition of MR, not the industry accepted version.

  • 50%, that’s a big cut!
    But no matter: Watch & HomePod
    both started off slow, yet look at ’em now ….
    I’ve faith.
    8^ )

  • xyzs

    Ohhh why ? $3500 for the base model + taxes… who would have guessed nobody can afford it.

    At least you can use it s a premium video games headset… wait.

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Jes, I wonder why. Preorders in EU are starting at 4,500€ ad above. VR is still a niche and consumer product selling for such high price is predestined to fail. You can sell it to enterprise market, but then again not 700–800k units.

  • another juan

    funny thing is, with the 2025 vision non-pro cancelled, both google and meta will now beat apple to the punch in this new high-end consumer device line.
    even microsoft has a fair chance at this point.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Any source of the Vision “Air” being cancelled?

      • wheeler

        There isn’t. PC gamer apparently just pulled that out of their ass and then everyone blindly repeated it because it’s what they want to hear.

  • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

    Apple: “We don’t get it. At, first, people were like, ‘wow, that’s cool’, then they were like, “$3500′???

  • alxslr

    AVP is a VR headset from a company whose CEO has made clear many times that he does not like VR.

    • xyzs

      A CEO is that is also way too rich and too much in his fart bubble to understand the value of what is $3500 for the average American.

    • Guest

      Indeed, how strange. You’d think with the emphasis he kept on staying connected to the real world and other people, the Vision Pro would’ve been more Hololens-like, and not just a fancier Quest. Sure waveguides aren’t perfect, but clearly neither is video passthrough.

      • sam ben

        Still, it has a trash fov

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Sure waveguides aren’t perfect, but clearly neither is video passthrough.

        But video passthrough is at least usable for immersive virtual environments, while waveguides are still so limited that they pretty much only work as a very small FoV information display, nowhere near to what would be required to make the experience feel “real”. And that’s not going to change for probably another decade.

        So right now the only realistic options for a company to build the software and experiences for the XR devices of the future and have real world users actually test them, are using passthrough or waiting for several years. Passthrough is indeed far from perfect and seriously messes with close up vision and depth perception. But it will do while waveguides get a couple more years to mature into something usable in a consumer product, not just a prototype or professional niche HMD.

        • Ondrej

          Few years? Are there any indications of breakthroughs in wave guides?
          People thought 30 years ago that Virtual retinal displays would change the game for HMDs in a “few years” and now almost nobody cares about them.
          LCDs needed many decades to become viable for TVs.

          I don’t think we know anything about see through solutions becoming viable in a decade or so. If they were we would already have a lab prototype and we clearly don’t, as that would be leaked by some overly excited people.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I never said a “few years”, instead went with “several/a couple more”. I avoid making predictions about technological progress for more than a decade out, because things occasionally change rather quickly. But it if turns out that we are in fact still several decades away from wave guides being usable for HMDs (which I doubt), I will simply claim that with “a couple more years” I was referring to geological time, where something taking a thousand years is considered very fast.

          • Newlot

            Would you be willing then to share your prediction for technology for the next 2, 5 and 10 years? Would love to hear it, concerning all things whether thats VR/AR, AI, Chips, Quantum Computers or other stuff.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Even if I would consider myself competent enough to make reasonable predictions in all these areas (which I do not), that would basically be the content of a book. So no.

            The superficial, unspecific, ultrashort version: I still mostly ignore Quantum computing due to the experimental state, have minimal knowledge about chip production (it will get better, get more stacked/3D and modular like chiplets to compensate for physical limits). The capabilities of LLM surprised me. They are still technically only predictive/”stupid” and their answers non-transparent, limiting their autonomous utility, and I doubt we’ll get AGI to fix this anytime soon. Nonetheless they are amazing tools, and IMHO the most interesting developments are similarly capable small language models like those released by Microsoft or Apple, running locally on moderate devices, allowing for lots of weird applications without incurring the insane hardware and energy costs of e.g. GPT.

            I regularly post predictions on VR/AR here, still expect XR to go mainstream, but like most, not before we have glasses-like HMDs, which will probably take another decade. Meta is in trouble, because their plan of growing to a self-sustained XR user base before Apple and Google enter failed. But I expect that we won’t see a continuation of the current mobile duopoly, because regulatory agencies will seriously clip the wings of large platform owners, leading to a more open market with more players than most expect, and giving content owners like Epic, Microsoft or Disney a much bigger weight than today.

            Meta actually knew/knows this, and aimed to control central cross-platform services like user authentication and avatar/identity management instead of a platform, which was mostly needed to accumulate a user base in a not yet existing market out of their Quest user base. They will now struggle to prevent users just sticking to Apple/Google despite help from law makers, but has too much money and too much to loose to give up.

            That’s 337 words not even scratching the surface, but already exceeding what is a reasonable length for this forum.

        • Newlot

          Are waveguides basically the tech that would make see through AR glasses possible?

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            We’ll see. An optical waveguide is just something that allows to direct light somewhere else, including around the corner, by internal reflection. Glass fiber is a waveguide. The advantage for HMDs is that the actual display and the optics can be moved out of the field of view. And since the internal total reflection only happens at a certain angle, the material itself is transparent from the side, so the passing through light doesn’t interfere with the virtual image. This is why Hololens and Magic Leap use waveguides.

            Other technologies are possible, like retinal projection or holographic lenses. Both require coherent laser light, with lasers still too large for HMDs. Technically the projection also requires a waveguide, and a holographic lens IS a waveguide with a very complex optical path.

            I can’t tell what the main problems with increasing the FoV on HMDs using waveguides is, but my guess is the required magnification. On regular HMDs, the users is looking through a pair of lenses, which are necessary to allow the eye to focus on a display at close range, but at the same time distort the image, which has to be corrected in software for video passthrough. That’s not an option with actual see-through displays, as magnification would distort the view onto the world. So not only has the virtual image to be rendered pre-distorted, but the light has to enter the waveguide in a way that it will exit in front of the eye in the same way as it would if it had gone through a lens.

            Higher FoV requires higher magnification, which probably makes the problem harder. At one point it would interfere with the angle required for the total internal reflection the wave guide is based on, and it is possible that there are physical limits that will prevent the waveguides we have from ever reaching the FoV of current HMDs. This is speculation on my side, but the reason why I think that waveguides are probably the tech that will enable see-through AR glasses, but could still turn out to be too limited.

    • Tabp

      Yeah, Apple’s trying to create a new market separate from the VR market, and they’re trying to start primarily with businesses instead of consumers. Given that Apple is usually consumer-oriented, it makes sense that they’d have a tough time with that, and they’d have to change the roadmap based on whatever complaints they’re getting from business users.

  • STL

    The demand for ultra-expensive diving goggles is therefore low. What a surprise!
    Honestly, another „Newton“-like moment for mighty Apple, but no Steve Jobs around to turn the device in a true “precious”.

  • Naruto Uzumaki

    Did quest pro even sell 300k units in 2 years?

    • Uhhhh, no.

    • wheeler

      Despite cutting the price by 50%, it’s expected to sell 150k over its entire lifetime. Production is apparently over.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        They said they’d buy no more new parts and only build Quest Pro as long as their initial component inventory lasts.The last estimate I read some time ago was 50K Quest Pro sold so far. The 150K was apparently what they initially anticipated for the first rush, so they built up enough inventory for that.

        Based on that production shouldn’t be over yet, as it is quite doubtful that they managed to sell another 100K to go through their whole inventory by now. But at one point they’ll probably just write off the remaining inventory instead. Or turn the remaining Quest Pros into dev kits for a Quest 4 or the newly announced spatial Horizon OS UI with eye tracking support.

        • wheeler

          Thanks, I guess it’s even worse than I thought

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The Quest Pro is actually a decent HMD with reasonable hardware for its intended use case, they just completely messed up the positioning. Their user base wanted an enthusiast device Pro as in PS4 Pro, which they now got with Quest 3. Meta instead positioning the Quest Pro as a business device with an (only theoretical) added value based on the very unfinished Horizon Rooms and not much else completely missed that mark.

            It might have done better if they had stated that an enthusiast gaming device with the wanted visual and performance upgrades was coming next, causing gamers to just skip the Quest Pro. That way the hardware would not have been met with a wave of disappointment, and might have had a chance to slowly grow into something useful. Had Meta not messed up the software part so hard, they could have ridden the wave of meetings moving to the digital realm. And for an actually working business solution, even the initial USD 1500 would have been fine, and 150K units realistic. The Quest Pro’s chances to ever get there were ruined by bad project management and communication.

  • I find these analysts pretty bizarre. Every John Doe in the XR community was aware that everyone that wanted a Vision Pro bought it at launch and so after the initial buzz was obvious that sales would have fallen down. So I don’t get what is the news here and I’m surprised if Apple really wasn’t aware of this when it wrote down its strategy

    • articles in the last few hours have been poking holes in his predictions.

    • Lucidfeuer

      You sound like you think meritocracy and pragmatism is still a thing. They don’t know the F they’re doing or saying, just hiring people because they’re white and from the same class, so ofc they wouldn’t see coming the fact that the Vision Pro would not move anything beyond the initial rich amateurs wave.

      • Tabp

        The analyst’s name is Ming-Chi Kuo. They’re not “just hiring people because they’re white” when the guy is asian. The whole analyst industry is basically a bunch of paid ads, but try to be more accurate than they are.

  • gothicvillas

    for me the problem is software. Not interested to spend thousands on device without a great software choice. AVP is absolutely not my cuppa since im interested in gaming.
    I will say it again, until ALL games are playable either flat or VR, VR will not take off big time. That market segregation is bad. It must be one large pool with gamers and games where you can choose your display of choice. UEVR is good example but not everyone has 4090 to run the hybrid mod. If VR is added in the code by the devs, things would be way better optimized and having pretty much all 3d games available with VR option would drive the VR industry up.
    Great example is RE8. Boom. Play as you want, flat or vr. It must be a STANDARD.

  • Lucidfeuer

    Any news of that Google x Samsung x Qualcomm headset project?