Apple to now expand the Vision Pro to Asia

Apple Vision Pro Expands to Asia: A Bold Move Amid Mixed Demand

Apple announced on Tuesday that its flagship virtual reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, will launch in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore on June 28. This marks the gadget’s debut outside the United States, with pre-orders starting on Friday.

Significant Expansion to Key Asian Markets

The Asian launch represents a strategic expansion for Apple, targeting some of the world’s most tech-savvy and lucrative markets. The Vision Pro, which first went on sale in the U.S. four months ago, comes with a starting price of $3,499. In China, one of Apple’s most crucial markets, the headset will be sold at a premium price of 29,999 yuan ($4,190).

Apple faces a unique set of challenges in China, particularly with the government’s stringent regulations on content. Popular U.S. apps like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video are unavailable in China. To navigate this, Apple announced collaborations with local developers and internet companies. Tencent will provide its video streaming app, Tencent Video, while ByteDance will launch a VR version of Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok.


Competing with Local Rivals

Apple will also contend with local competitors in the VR space, such as Chinese electronics manufacturer Oppo. However, early signs indicate strong demand for the Vision Pro in China. A gray market for the headset has emerged, with prices on Alibaba-owned online flea market app Xianyu reaching up to double the official price.

Enthusiastic Market Response

“The enthusiasm for Apple Vision Pro has been extraordinary, and we are thrilled to introduce the magic of spatial computing to more customers around the world,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement on Tuesday. This positive sentiment is crucial as Apple seeks to bolster its market presence and drive sales in Asia.

Mixed Reception and Market Strategies

Despite the excitement, the Vision Pro faces challenges in terms of market demand. Reports indicate that demand in the U.S. has waned. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, reported in April that Apple had reduced Vision Pro production due to lower-than-expected demand.

Strategic Market Expansion

Apple’s decision to expand the Vision Pro to international markets ahead of industry expectations appears to be a strategic move to counteract the lower domestic demand. “The Vision Pro’s move to international markets is ahead of industry expectations and appears to be an attempt to drive sales amid lower-than-expected demand due to its niche use case and hefty price tag,” said Le Xuan Chiew, a Canalys analyst focusing on Apple strategy research.

Broader International Rollout

In addition to the Asian markets, Apple announced that pre-orders for the Vision Pro will also open for Germany, France, Australia, the U.K., and Canada on June 28, with availability set for July 12. This broad international rollout indicates Apple’s aggressive strategy to capture market share and stimulate demand globally.

Advancements in VisionOS 2

Apple also unveiled VisionOS 2, the latest iteration of its operating system for the Vision Pro. The update introduces new features and AI integrations, enhancing the headset’s capabilities and making it compatible with 2,000 apps. This update is expected to improve user experience and broaden the device’s appeal.

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