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Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

[Text/Observer.com Lu Dong Editor/Zhang Guangkai]

As Apple's first major new category launched in nearly 10 years, the Vision Pro officially went on sale in the United States earlier this month, attracting a lot of attention.

According to market analysts, the device, which starts at US$3,500 (about 25,000 yuan) and is positioned as a "spatial computing platform", has been ordered for 16-180,000 units during the pre-sale period, and the final output may reach 500,000 units. And because Vision Pro has not yet been sold in Chinese mainland, scalpers who do purchasing business once speculated the price of a single device to 100,000 yuan, which is 4 times higher than the official price.

But more people are concerned about what the real hands-on experience of the Vision Pro is, and whether it can become a phenomenal product for Apple.

Recently, Mark Gurman, the chief reporter of Bloomberg who follows Apple, interviewed a number of loyal Apple fans who have purchased the Vision Pro. He mentions in the article that a staggering number of users ended up returning Vision Pro, opting to get their $3,500 back.

These veteran fruit fans talked about the core pain points of Vision Pro, including being too heavy, too cumbersome to operate, headaches and uncomfortable, as well as lack of application ecology, too much glare, too narrow field of view, causing eye fatigue and vision problems, and isolation from the outside world.

"I didn't want to quit, but I had to. Some U.S. users who bought the Vision Pro admitted that they wished they didn't need to return it, but had to do so after discovering that the Vision Pro couldn't be used for Apple's advertised tasks. Another user said that Apple "made a headset that doesn't make you dizzy" and combined its own expertise in hardware and software, but he felt that the Vision Pro was not worth the price.

Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the Vision Pro would soon be available in the Chinese market. According to the photos posted by some netizens, Vision Pro is "Made in China" like iPhone and other products, which means that Apple is only responsible for design, assembly and production are carried out in China. Some netizens posted orders saying that the Vision Pro they purchased was shipped in Shanghai, China.

According to Apple's official website, the Vision Pro is priced at $3,499 for the 256GB storage version, $3,699 for the 512GB version, and $3,899 for the 1TB version. At present, on domestic e-commerce apps such as Taobao, JD.com, and Salted Fish, the price of Vision Pro ranges from 38,999 to 94,998 yuan, which is much higher than the official price. According to some self-media reports, with the gradual decrease in the popularity of Vision Pro, the recent purchasing price has fallen below 30,000 yuan, and there is a spot price of 28,000+ in Shenzhen.

Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

Screenshot of the Bloomberg report

Here's from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (compiled by Observer.com):

The Apple Vision Pro has been on the market for two weeks now, and some of its most loyal users are returning it to get their $3,500 back.

Apple may need at least another 18 months before launching the second-generation Vision Pro. Judging by the initial feedback from the first release, some users may have to wait a long time. Since the Vision Pro first went on sale on February 2, it's clear that this mixed reality headset (MR) is still in the development phase. Despite the dazzling presentations and generally positive reviews, it is still a challenge to use it in everyday life. It's too heavy, the interface doesn't always run smoothly, and it's hard to forget the fact that you're paying $3500 or more for this experience.

Loyal fans of Vision Pro emphasize that the current version is only the first generation and the experience will get better over time. Don't forget that the original iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch also had drawbacks, they said. If it feels like it's too heavy, you're not wearing it the right way. The field of view is narrower than expected and glare?

The early Apple first generation did have problems, such as the original iPhone not being able to connect to a 3G network, and there was no App Store, or even a cut-and-paste feature. The iPad doesn't have a multitasking feature. The original Apple Watch was too slow and not waterproof. But I don't think anyone complains that these devices are too heavy, hard to use, or too expensive to keep them.

When it comes to the Vision Pro, even some of the most loyal Apple users will reconsider. By last Friday (Feb. 16), when the two-week return period for the first users of the Vision Pro expired, a staggering number of users returned their devices. While returns are common and there are a variety of reasons, the Vision Pro is unique. If you buy one, you're likely an Apple die-hard or an early adopter of the new technology. It is believed that this group is much less likely than the average iPhone or iPad user to return an item.

Apple has not commented on the Vision Pro's return rate, but data from retail stores suggests that the return rate can be between average and above average compared to other products, depending on where it's sold. Some smaller stores have one or two returns per day, but larger stores have more than eight returns per day.

Obviously, these numbers are not huge, and some stores have had cases of only one return or no return for several days. This is partly because the Vision Pro is a low-volume product, which is what Apple expected from the beginning. These are not signs of a crisis. But Apple does seem interested in figuring out what's really going on. When a user returns a Vision Pro, the salesperson asks them what went wrong. Apple employees are also required to report to their manager after each return so that any issues can be reported to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

In talking to a dozen people who have returned Vision Pro over the past week, I've heard some similar reasons: the device is simply too heavy, too cumbersome to handle, a headache and uncomfortable, and the current lack of apps and video content doesn't justify the pricing of this product; The Pro's working features don't make people more efficient than using regular external monitors on Mac computers, and they're also hard to use for long periods of time, monitors have too much glare, the field of view is too narrow, and the device causes eye strain and vision problems, this product makes users feel isolated from family and friends, meaningful sharing experiences don't exist yet, and Vision Pro can't be easily passed on to others due to the need for precise matching.

Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

Source: Bloomberg

The people I spoke to were either long-time fans of Apple and technology (they had previously purchased the new iPhone, iPad and Mac as soon as they launched) or were blown away by the presentations at Apple retail stores. As I wrote last week, these demos are designed to wow users with a curated series of experiences. Based on what I've seen so far, these demos are valid, perhaps too effective. They sell consumers an experience that doesn't exist yet. Some Apple stores have conversion rates as high as 10% to 15% after demos. That's an impressive number for a product like the Vision Pro.

Chucky Blalock, who runs an entertainment business in Florida, said he bought the Vision Pro for at-home entertainment, but also hoped it would help him run the company. He found the technology and the screen "incredible", but ultimately felt that the Vision Pro had disconnected him from the world, "It's very important to live in reality, and this device doesn't allow you to do that." ”

It has also been pointed out that the Vision Pro lacks a killer app. Randy Chia, a product manager at an investment firm in Los Angeles, admits, "You'll find yourself in this virtual environment, and you'll ask yourself what you're doing here." He found that his face was sweating when he finished using it, so he put the device back. It also left him exhausted and complained about the buggy software.

Jia bought the first-generation MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, but he thought the Vision Pro was an "unbelievable" product. Jia bluntly said that the Vision Pro was the most flawed of the first generation of products he used, "The wow factor doesn't make up for the fact that I wear this big thing on my head." He said.

Binyamin Goldman, who runs BZG Apps and a self-confessed fruit fan, said he bought Vision Pro to see if he should develop an app for it. He soon discovered that it was too heavy, and that the video channel — the feature that shows the real world around you — felt like looking through a 720-pixel camera. "The biggest drawback is that in very dark environments, very bright objects can generate glare," he said, referring to the landscape that serves as the background of the Vision Pro.

He said that he himself wished he didn't need to return it, but he had to do so after discovering that the Vision Pro could not be used for the tasks advertised by Apple. "It's very difficult to watch a movie for three hours straight, you can't work on it at all, and you can only connect one Mac monitor at a time," he says. Still, he plans to try again in the second edition.

Westin Flower, who runs an online retail business, also bought the Vision Pro because he felt that the device's multi-app window would be a superpower for his company. But the Vision Pro's multitasking capabilities were more limited than he expected, and his eyes were tired. "I don't want to compromise for $3,500," he said.

California-based freelance cinematographer Jesse Dacri echoed concerns about eye strain. "It's too heavy, everybody knows it, I'm used to wearing it," said Dakry, who also owns Meta's Quest headset. As a test, he connected his Quest to a Mac for two hours. He didn't have the same eye strain as he did with the Vision Pro. "That's what it is for me," he said.

Apple Vision Pro was exposed to a large number of returns, fruit fans: I didn't want to return but had to return

Apple CEO Tim Cook Source: The New York Times

Narinder Walia, an economic adviser in Los Angeles, said he was shocked by the quality of the video. "First of all, I love it, it's crazy. He said he watched two movies on his iPad and didn't believe there was any other video experience that could compare. But he didn't use it elsewhere. "If it was between $1,500 and $2,000, I would keep it just to watch the movie, but now it's almost $4,000 and I'm willing to wait for the second edition. ”

Farzad Mesbahi, a former supply chain manager for Tesla Inc. in Texas, was also impressed with the device, but eventually returned it. He noted that Apple "made a headset that doesn't make you dizzy" and combines its hardware and software expertise. But he didn't think the Vision Pro was worth the price.

"It's obviously the future, but there's only so much you can do right now," Mesbashi said. "The app doesn't exist at all. He felt comfortable with it, "but after a few hours, there was still something on his face." ”

David Altizer, who designed YouTube thumbnails in Nashville, had hoped to use the Vision Pro as an external monitor while traveling, but found it too uncomfortable to fit the way he worked. "I'm in Photoshop all day, so I don't need a super-fast computer, but I do need a monitor with accurate colors. "The whole experience felt really slow and not as impressive." ”

The experience of Parker Ortolani, product manager at Vox Media, is perhaps the most disappointing. He said that the device was not for him, it was too heavy, and the strap did not reduce the weight. "No matter how many different ways I use to adjust the headband, I can't work it for a long time," he says. I went to the store and even worked with a specialist trained in Cupertino. I ended up thinking we had made some progress, but it wasn't. ”

Altolani complained that in addition to the discomfort, the Vision Pro also raised medical concerns. He had tired eyes and woke up to find a "big red spot" on his eye, which he said was a burst blood vessel. He blames the Vision Pro for the problem — and the "worst" headache he's ever experienced. "It was one of those moments where I thought, 'Oh no, it's not worth the trouble. ’”

Still, as a big Apple fan, Ottolani said he didn't want to give up the product. "I didn't want to quit, but I had to," he said. He likens the device to a prototype for developers to write apps, rather than a product for consumers.

Of course, I've heard a lot of people say they love their Vision Pros and won't give them up.

This article is an exclusive manuscript of Observer.com and may not be reproduced without authorization.

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