The highly anticipated launch of Apple’s Vision Pro augmented reality headset is now just weeks away on February 2nd. According to Mark Gurman, Apple is preparing an extensive and lengthy in-store sales pitch to give customers a full hands-on experience with the $3,499 device.
Retail store demos will last up to 25 minutes – far longer than typical try-outs of Apple products. The company appears to be taking a slow and steady approach to selling the Vision Pro, expecting demand to taper off after early adopters.
This careful rollout marks Apple’s most complex product launch yet. Vision Pro faces massive challenges around its design, functionality, and lack of killer apps. Persuading mainstream consumers to strap a bulky, unfamiliar device to their face and pay over $3K will require substantial coaching.
To ready retail employees for this unusual launch, Apple hosted training sessions at its Cupertino HQ. The 25-minute Vision Pro demos will provide a guided, personalized experience:
- First, a store worker will scan the customer’s face to determine necessary fit and lens accessories. Prescription glasses can also be scanned.
- Next, the correctly configured Vision Pro will be assembled and brought out for the demo. Employees explain how to use hand gestures, eye movements, and features like the Fit Dial and Digital Crown.
- The demo then guides users through Apple’s augmented and virtual reality software. Photos, spatial images, a virtual browser, movies, and immersive tightrope content aim to wow participants.
- Throughout the 25-minutes, employees can view what customers see on an iPad and provide assistance.
Unlike the intuitive appeal of the iPod or iPhone, Vision Pro headsets are an entirely foreign concept for most. Apple is wise to invest seriously in educating and dazzling potential buyers.
The extensive demos also hint that killer apps may be lacking at launch. If the Vision Pro provided an obvious “must have” experience out of the box, a 25-minute pitch wouldn’t be required.
Despite the hype surrounding augmented reality, Apple is taking a prudent approach in rolling out the Vision Pro. For this first-gen headset with significant limitations, a slow build fueled by curiosity may be the smartest path.
Rather than pushing the Vision Pro hard from day one, Apple is setting modest expectations. They want to hook early adopters first and then wait as use cases and software capabilities evolve.
It’s an understandable strategy given the early state of technology. But make no mistake – Apple has massive ambitions in this space long-term.
For tech enthusiasts eager to dive into augmented reality on February 2nd, those 25-minute Apple store demos promise an unforgettable first glimpse into the future. But Apple won’t be satisfied until XR becomes as instinctive as the iPhone. And that journey is only just beginning.