Getting a handle on just how many Vision Pro mixed reality headsets Apple sold in its first weekend isn't easy but finding out if everyone legitimately bought one is even harder.
Estimates put the weekend Vision Pro sales haul at somewhere around 180,000 units, and while Apple hasn't confirmed there are some indications that the Cupertino tech giant sold out of the Spatial Computing launch product. However, a quick perusal of the popular auction site eBay turns up hundreds and hundreds of Vision Pro headsets.
Since Apple has yet to ship its first Vision Pro (pre-orders started on January 19 and it ships on February 2), the majority of eBay auction offers appear to be pre-order placeholders. In one auction listing, the seller wrote (all caps are his):
“THIS IS A PRE-ORDER ARRIVING ON FEB 2ND! I WILL SHIP OUT SAME DAY AS LONG AS IT ARRIVES TO ME BEFORE 4PM.”
Some listings show a marketing image of the Vision Pro while others are simply proof of an existing pre-order. Prices range from under $ 600 to over $ 7,000. The base 256GB model currently lists for $ 3,499.99 (Vision Pro is not shipping outside the US).
While markups on eBay offers are expected, it's hard to imagine anyone paying double for the still-untested mixed-reality headset. More worrisome are the sub-$ 1,000 offers. There's no way a seller will pay Apple's roughly $ 3,500 upfront costs and then take a loss. The low prices are simply a come-on to drive interest and bids.
Why all the excitement and the unsurprising eBay activity? Apple Vision Pro is special. It's Apple's first new product category since 2015's Apple Watch. Apple is trying with this high-end and powerful wearable computer (it has M2 and R1 chips inside) to launch an entirely new Spatial Computing category.
I've had four experiences with Vision Pro and can agree that it's not quite like anything on the market. I'm especially impressed with its gaze and gesture tracking and ability to shift fluidly from full immersion to partial and then finally complete passthrough with realistic augmented reality. It has the potential to change entertainment, communication, gaming, and productivity. It also stands a fair chance of flopping since consumers still don't entirely understand why they should spend thousands of dollars for something they can only use by putting it on their heads.
If you're thinking about bidding on any of these eBay offers understand that off-brand pricing is not your only concern. You can't order Vision Pro without doing a face scan to ensure you get the right light seal. The eBay seller did the scan and there's no guarantee your face sizes and shapes will match (some do list the size of the light seal to help you match your face size).
Moreover, if you wear glasses, you'll need special $ 99-to-$ 149 Zeiss inserts to correct your vision inside the Vision Pro. Otherwise, the systems' two 4K microLED displays will look terrible. Without using Apple's guided ordering system, you won't be set up to receive the right inserts at the same time you receive the headset from the seller.
I contacted Apple about the eBay listings to see if they have any concerns. I can imagine that they're not pleased about it.
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