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Video Industry Go Spatial: Profitability From the Vision Pro Phenomenon

José Somolinos

Solutions Strategist & XR Lead

February 19, 2024


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Last week's launch of Apple Vision Pro marked a significant milestone in the tech giant's foray into the spatial computing space. As a leading developer of immersive video experiences and VR/AR solutions, we've closely followed the launch of Apple Vision Pro. Our commitment to advancing the field of immersive technology has positioned us uniquely to assess, test, and understand the nuances of this significant launch. Seeing the high interest and numerous questions surrounding Apple Vision Pro's launch, in this blog post, we offer insights and analyses based on our industry experience, leveraging our expertise to help readers understand its impact on the future of digital media.

How is the sales of the Apple Vision Pro going?

In the wake of its highly anticipated launch, the Apple Vision Pro has seen a great market reception, with multiple reports indicating that Apple has completely sold out the first shipments, totaling around 200,000 devices. Industry forecasts are now predicting first-year sales to range between 400,000 to 500,000 units. 

At first glance, these numbers may seem modest, especially when juxtaposed against the monumental sales figures of today's iPhones, which tally in the millions each year. However, it serves to remember that when the first iPhone was launched in 2007, Apple sold 1.4 million units. And taking into consideration that the Vision Pro, with its price point at $3499, is more than three times that of the original iPhone's, the device is anticipated to have the projected top-line revenues in its first year on par with those of the iPhone's early days. 

This parallel highlights the evolving consumer appetite for advanced technology, regardless of the premium price. We can also sense the market's readiness for immersive experiences. The consensus suggests that despite some initial hurdles, Apple's latest venture could very well mature into a lucrative product segment.

What are the initial reviews saying about Apple Vision Pro?

The early feedback on the Apple Vision Pro from the video industry has been largely positive, acknowledging the device's high-quality screens, intuitive user experience, and the initial 'wow' factor it brings. We see a potential shift in perception among those previously hesitant about virtual reality, as they can now envision using the headset for traditional, non-immersive movie experiences, alongside a curiosity for future immersive content development.

Comparatively, the user experience (UX) of the Vision Pro is assessed to be more refined than what is typically expected from first-generation products, including Apple's original iPhone. This is attributed to the fluid integration with Apple's broader ecosystem via visionOS, providing a user interface close to that of other Apple products. But such familiarity also has its negative side, since there is nothing new to learn and the current UI is not much different from having giant iPads floating around.

A significant concern among early adopters is the current lack of content specifically designed to leverage the immersive capabilities of the platform. But as in the case of the iPhone’s early days, we believe the content ecosystem gradually will evolve to match the device's capabilities. Additionally, the device's design, particularly its front-heavy weight distribution, has been critiqued for compromising comfort during prolonged use—a critical area for improvement for the headset in the next generation.

Assessing ROI: When will Vision Pro become profitable?

Apple's commitment is evidenced by its substantial $20 billion investment in the development of Vision Pro. This level of expenditure speaks volumes about Apple's strategic ambitions and sets a high bar for the platform's evolution. As we anticipate the release of second-generation devices, it's reasonable to expect an uptick in marketing efforts to penetrate the market, with a long-term goal of achieving annual sales of around $10 billion for this category alone.

This is not mere speculation but a calculated forecast based on the expected trajectory of technological adoption and market dynamics. As prices gradually decrease, we could see a surge in demand, potentially reaching 5 million devices per year. Such growth will not go unnoticed by media companies and content creators, many of whom are currently navigating through their own transformations and financial challenges.

How should we respond to the Vision Pro phenomenon?

The launch of the Vision Pro marks a notable development in the tech landscape as Apple, as a market leader, officially joins the race towards spatial video development and immersive experiences. The buzz surrounding this event is impossible to ignore. Media companies and operators, even amidst restructuring efforts and financial constraints, are keenly observing these developments and trying to adapt to the changing dynamics of digital engagement.

We anticipate that many in the industry will begin to experiment with this new platform in the coming year. Initially, these endeavors may center around Vision Pro, but as the technology matures, a more comprehensive approach involving cross-platform integration is expected to take shape. 

As one of the leading video solutions vendors, Accedo has been for 10 years experimenting and delivering immersive video applications and now for the first time, we see a tipping point with the technology maturity and interest from the consumer. With the launch of Apple Vision Pro, we recognize the increasing need for video service providers to embrace spatial computing. The way forward is to innovate, adapt, and explore the untapped potential of immersive content. We are poised to empower your OTT streaming business, providing the tools, expertise, and strategic insight necessary to unlock new dimensions of storytelling and audience engagement.

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