Apple is officially taking on the metaverse. After years of speculation, the company unveiled Apple Vision Pro at WWDC — and our reporter at the event was suitably impressed when he wore the first hands-on in the world.
But it won’t come cheap for eager customers. It’ll cost a massive $3,499 (£2,736) when it goes on sale next year.
What does that mean for UK pricing? Ultimately, it doesn’t mean anything. Apple Vision Pro is slated for release only in the US, and there’s no guarantee it will ever arrive on this side of the Atlantic.
However, analysts believe it will and there are a few ways that $3,499 could convert into pound sterling, with some more generous than others.
Apple Vision Pro price: How much should it cost?
Remember that US pricing doesn’t include sales tax, which varies from state to state. It is zero per cent in the likes of Montana and Oregon all the way up to 7.25 per cent in California, where Apple is based.
With our current 20 per cent VAT rate, that would add an extra £547 for a grand total of £3,283.
Apple Vision Pro price: The pessimistic take
So that’s our baseline price, but there are reasons to think it could be even more expensive than that.
In short, Apple tends to be more generous with its US pricing than its UK equivalent. Take the iPhone 14 Pro Max, for example. In the UK, the handset starts at £1,199, but in the USA it’s $1,099 — or around £859.
A more stark pricing discrepancy was revealed last night with the Mac Pro — the top-end desktop that makes Vision Pro look positively cheap. In the US, it starts at $6,999 — or around £5,472. But on Apple’s British store, it comes in at £7,199.
Apple isn’t the only tech brand to hit Brits with unfair currency conversions. But, looking through this lens, it’s possible that Apple Vision Pro could have an even higher £ figure — something in the £3,599 to £3,799 range doesn’t seem impossible.
Apple Vision Pro UK price: The optimistic take
There is a way that Apple Vision Pro could be significantly cheaper in the UK… but it’s not a particularly positive one.
As mentioned above, the headset hasn’t had confirmation of a UK release. But, if it does, it could come months or even years after American consumers have had a go.
Given tech prices go only in one direction, it’s possible that, by the time it reaches the UK, the price of components will have come down enough to give us Brits a comparative bargain.
That said, even that’s relative. This will never be cheap hardware — but if we do have to wait a year or more, we could be looking at something closer to £3,000 after all.
Apple Vision Pro UK price: The expert’s take
We tried to guess the new headset’s price, but what do the experts say?
Well, we got the lowdown on the Apple Vision Pro from a pair of leading analysts. As it turns out, we aren’t far off the mark.
In a nutshell, the price of the new tech could be determined by the general surcharge on Apple products in the UK versus the US. The extra cost of VAT could also be included in the UK price. That’s according to George Jijiashvili, a senior principal analyst at tech research firm Omdia.
“Having sampled 10 Apple products, the percentage difference between US dollars and UK pounds in terms of price can range from as low as three per cent on the Mac Pro and as high as 13 per cent for the iPad Pro,” he said.
Taking into account VAT as well, Jijiashvili believes the Apple Vision Pro is most likely to cost Brits £3,699.
“That would be a six per cent difference [compared with the US],” he said. “The absolute lowest price would be £3,599, while the highest could be £3,999.”
Fortunately, Jijiashvili reckons that eye-watering maximum estimate is “unlikely”.
IDC Europe’s vice president of data and analytics Francisco Jeronimo, meanwhile, thinks it may come in a bit cheaper — but not by much.
“The price will probably be £3,499,” he tells the Standard — but with possible extra costs.
Apple Vision Pro UK price: Possible extra costs
What extra costs, exactly? Well, you can’t wear glasses with Apple Vision Pro. And that means you’ll have to fork out extra for a pair of prescription lenses, made by Zeiss, that will probably attach to the headset’s micro-OLED displays.
Jeronimo believes these prescription lenses could cost “around £500 plus a pair”. That’s pretty close to the estimate of Bloomberg’s well-connected Apple expert Mark Gurman, who puts it in the $300 to $600 (£235 to £469) range.
I would guess that the Zeiss prescription lenses for the Vision Pro will be at least $300-600 a pair, unless Apple is eating part of the cost given the already high price of the headset itself.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) June 6, 2023
This seems steep, given Zeiss currently sells similar lenses for around £55. Hopefully, Gurman’s optimistic take is correct and Apple will eat some of the cost with the price of the headset.
When will Apple Vision Pro be released in the UK?
Obviously, the first caveat here is that it might never launch in the UK. Apple has only said Vision Pro is coming to the US, and it’s not impossible that it’ll bomb so badly that it abandons it in record time.
But neither of our analysts believe that’s a likely outcome. Both believe the UK will be one of the first countries to get a taste of Apple Vision Pro, once the US exclusivity period is over.
“It is quite difficult to predict when the Vision Pro will arrive in the UK,” says Jeronimo. “I anticipate it to be among the first countries outside the US to receive the device considering the UK’s significant position in the VR & AR market in Europe. However, Apple faces obstacles in launching the device internationally, primarily related to its supply chain and the intricate nature of the manufacturing process.”
Jijiashvili, meanwhile, believes it’ll be on this side of the Atlantic by the end of 2024. He said a mid-2024 release date was also possible if the US launch went well.
“Given it’s a very intricate new device, I think it all will rest on Apple’s ability to ramp up production to meet US demand, before it expands to other countries,” Jijiashvili said.
“Certainly, the UK will be one of the first countries to get the Vision Pro after the US,” he added.