Since its February 2nd launch, Vision Pro has been a US-only device, which means it only supports the US keyboard layout and emoji. Now Apple has confirmed that the international launch of Vision Pro is coming this year, which critically includes a launch in mainland China.

Update (March 25th, 2024): As reported by Reuters, speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing on Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Vision Pro will hit the mainland China market sometime this year—when is still subject to speculation.

Considering Meta still has no appreciable presence in China due to its products being blocked by that country’s government, this potentially gives Apple a valuable foothold in the Chinese domestic market for future releases. The original article detailing the first clues of the headset’s mainland China launch follows below:

Original Article (March 14th, 2024): According to code found by MacRumors, Apple may be soon preparing for Vision Pro’s much-awaited international launch, as 12 new languages are about to be added, one of which is simplified Chinese.

Like every other Apple device, Vision Pro needs to support a wide array of local languages if it plans to have to sort of broad international launch the Cupertino tech giant is known for.

As indicated by MacRumors, code found in Vision Pro’s 1.1 visionOS update shows 12 new languages are coming. Here’s the list of languages ostensibly soon to arrive on Vision Pro:

  • Cantonese, Traditional
  • Chinese, Simplified
  • English (Australia)
  • English (Canada)
  • English (Japan)
  • English (Singapore)
  • English (UK)
  • French (Canada)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Apple hasn’t said exactly when it’s rolling out to other countries, or even which countries to expect from Vision Pro’s international release. The languages above however suggest it’s at least coming to Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the UK, France, and Germany.

The inclusion of Simplified Chinese may also suggest the company is entering mainland China as well, where Apple already has a firm foothold with iPhone. Granted, Simplified Chinese is also commonly used in Malaysia and Singapore, whereas traditional Chinese script is used in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

15 Tips, Tricks, & Settings to Get the Most Out of Vision Pro

In contrast to its largest US-based competitor Meta, Quest 3 cannot be purchased in mainland China. A report from earlier this year maintained that talks between Meta and Chinese tech giant Tencent had stalled, which allegedly put hopes for a Chinese launch of Meta hardware on ice.

TikTok parent company ByteDance however could have a Vision Pro competitor launching within China fairly soon, as the company has reportedly scrapped its upcoming Pico 5 headset from XR subsidiary Pico Interactive in favor of a more director competitor to Vision Pro.

Meanwhile, a report from independent tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo alleged Apple may be ramping production of Vision Pro, as Kuo predicts the company may launch in more countries sometime before WWDC this year, which is historically held in the first week of June.

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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

    There is not much demand outside US that’s for sure. Those who really really wanted one already have means to do that externally; and couple hundred bucks extra is nothing when the base model is already so much.

    It might launch in other countries, it might not as well. About 90% of active VR users are in the US.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Hi ViRGiN: how do you know? I would have assumed that Europe would have about as many users, although of course much less for any given European country.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        The 2022 Quest 2 facepad recall listed 4M units in the US and only 172K in Canada. Adjusted for population, 1:83 US citizens got a Quest 2, but only 1:223 Canadians. Meta reports MRL revenue by region, indicating that ~80% of all Quest revenue/users back then were in the US, according to surveys mostly teens that probably got the Quest 2 as a Christmas present.

        Those Quest numbers won’t translate 1:1 to the total VR market. In 2022 Meta didn’t sell in Europe’s largest VR market Germany. Pico sold the Pico 3 Link and 4 in Europe, giving people more choice. And gaming happens a lot more on PCs in Europe, while consoles are more popular in the US and Japan, so more people in Europe might pick PCVR HMDs over a Quest due to already owning a gaming PC. The Quest 2 is also more expensive in Europe, both in absolute numbers and relate to income, making large sales as presents less likely.

        The US certainly has a lot more VR users, which will most likely happen with the AVP too. Apple products are way more expensive in Europe, partly due to 15%-25% VAT, partly to Apple simply charging more. The Mac Studio M2 Ultra sells for USD 4000 in the US, but for EUR 4800 (≈ USD 5190) in Germany. Add income differences, the iPhone/iMessage leading in the US, but trailing behind Android/WhatsApp in Europe, and AVP becomes more expensive/less attractive for Europeans.

        • Arno van Wingerde

          Things being more expensive in Europe due to taxes and smaller markets per language is true, lower disposable income too, so yeah, might decrease European interest. I certainly hadn’t expected the almost 3:1 difference between the US and Canada that you mentioned, but that certainly makes it more likely that a similar difference exists between the US and Europe. The EU has a similar disposable income as canada.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I think esp. the Quest 2 is perceived differently in the US and Europe. Piper Sandler 44th “Taking Stock With (US) Teens” survey from Fall 2022 asked for VR devices, with 26% of the teens stating they already own one, equaling about 11.2 US teenage Quest “owners”. Which doesn’t align with 4mn facepads recalled in Summer 2022 , so either not all the facepads had to be recalled, or the survey isn’t accurate (e.g. “own” really means “have access to one in the household”), or a lot of teens lied. Probably a mix of all these.

            If US teens really owned 11.2mn of at that time est. 15-17mn Quest 2 sold worldwide, that’d be 66%-75% of all Quest. If the 4mn facepads equal sold Quest, that’s only 25% of all Quest in the US. Unfortunately there are basically no verified numbers available to compare VR usage in different world regions/age groups etc., but it is quite safe to assume that US teens are the largest Quest 2 user/owner group. In the console heavy US, USD 299 apparently is an acceptable price for a present given to a teen, triggering the massive Quest sales spikes around Christmas. Esp. during the PS5/Xbox Series X shortages, many relatives picked a Quest 2 as a substitute, while my impression is that more/most Europeans bought it for themselves, with sales more spread over the year.

            Piper-Sandler also asked how often the teens use their HMD, with only 14% answering daily or weekly, and 86% monthly or less/never. Based on typical ownership and way of purchase, I’d guess the US has way more sold Quest 2, but average engagement and retention is much higher with (on average older) Europeans. Simply because more of them made a conscious choice to buy a relatively more expensive device with their own money, instead of just getting one despite hoping for a PS5.

  • Where is Italian? :O

    • xyzs

      Where is Spanish too ?? Wait…
      It’s Apple Greed Inc. we are talking about here.
      The list of added languages is purely based on GDP/habitant yes…

      • Arno van Wingerde

        Well I agree, but Apple recognizes that China is probably the #2 market. Although I do not understand how it would be difficult to translate manuals, menu’s etc. in 12 languages and roll out AVP worldwide. After all, they seem to manage with their other products… maybe worried about creating too large supplies?

  • STL

    Stock market ignores this. Why?

  • Anonymous

    The US should pass bills to ban this, immediately. All ties with China must be cut, not deepened. They are the free world’s enemy, a scoundrel country, with a illegitimate government. Communist should not get advanced tech who will turn it into weapons and propaganda against us.

    China is our enemy.

    Tim Cook is a disgusting man still unwilling to pull away from China when other companies are doing do.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      You do realize that almost 100% of all VR HMDs are produced in China? Goertek builds the Quest, Lenovo built the Rift S, Xiaomi built the Go. Pretty much the only equipment that was manufactured in the US was Valve Lighthouses, and they are apparently trying to delegate this to HTC. So if you cut all ties with turbo-capitalism China, you cut yourself off all the VR hardware production, as well as phones, computers, pretty much all consumer electronics plus thousands of cheap items in your household. And good luck with avoiding Tencent in your future gaming.

      Or is the idea to still enjoy all the benefits you get from having access to cheap products from a country with 18% of the world’s population, but then deny them whatever you want when they don’t do what you want them to do? Because that will no doubt work out. This is now a connected world, and it will stay a connected world, forcing people to find ways to live together instead of falling back into isolationism and cold-war rhetorics.

      I’m interested in one thing, Neo, the future. And believe me, I know: the only way to get there is together.

      Oracle, The Matrix Reloaded

      • Anonymous

        You have to be a REAL ignorant fool to confuse “Manufactured in China” with “Chinese-designed Brands”. The level of CCP infiltration and taxable revenue to CCP is completely dfferent.

        Worse I was talking about giving advanced tech to Chinese so they can develop things to turn against us and you auto-reacted with irrelevant stuff, a basic reading comprehension fail.

        We want cheap things to maintain our life style but China has proven itself to be an evil country and completely untrustworthy. All major foreign companies have left China or are pulling away from China. Only fools believe Chjna has a future under CCP.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          We want cheap things to maintain our life style but …

          Still waiting for an explanation how you intend to eat your “cut all ties” cake and “cheap things” keep it.

          I was talking about giving advanced tech to Chinese

          It is rather naïve to believe you could subdue them for a long time just by keeping certain technologies to yourself. That may work for a small country, but not for the second largest economy in the work with millions of researchers and trillions to spend.

          The US government cutting off all Huawei’s access to western technology lead to them relying on older chips for a few years, but at the same time triggered huge Chinese investments to become independent of Western technology, which they managed a lot faster than anybody expected. They aren’t up to the levels of Qualcomm yet, but already at “usable”. The same will happen with the US government limiting the export of high end AI chips from Nvidia, so these attempts to stop/slow down China basically just removed the lever the US had and ultimately boosted China’s own efforts.

          And the moment the US tries something China don’t want to deal with, they only have to threaten to sell some of the USD 1.1 trillion/15.2% of the foreign US debt they hold. This would raise interest rates in the US, causing significant economic harm. Which is why nobody is so insane to pull out the economic nukes, that will hit everybody, and instead continue to negotiate to find a common ground.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Eh… China is whose enemy exactly? Yes, the US sees its dominance threatened and I prefer Western systems as well, so I have a slight preference for the USA. However, taking a critical look at history after WW2 and the Marshall plan, than China is not that much below the US by my books. Even if they would invade Taiwan – I hope not!, it is unlikely they would screw up anywhere near as badly as the Russians are.

  • david vincent

    Finally found a useful application for the AVP you can’t have on flat screen :)
    Google “spatial vacuuming” (it’s unfortunate we can’t put links here)

  • Jonathan Pratte

    Can’t wait to sell one of my kidneys to buy one Vision pro!!!