Apple’s Vision Pro, unveiled at WWDC in June, faces significant supply chain issues. Apple initially cited the gap between the unveiling and the launch to allow developers to create apps for the device. However, a new report now suggests that the delay is primarily due to manufacturing problems rather than developer requirements.

Sources indicate that Apple has expressed dissatisfaction with the productivity of its manufacturing partners responsible for supplying the two crucial components of the headset— the micro-OLED displays for the wearer’s eyes and the outward-facing curved lenticular lens.

Although Sony and TSMC supplied the micro-OLED displays for the prototypes, the supplier’s identity for large-scale production remains unknown.

A lot of this is normal growing pains. This is the most complex consumer device anyone has ever made. There is a lot of technology in the Vision Pro, and they knew it would take a while to scale up.

-Tech consultant Jay Goldberg

Due to these production challenges, Apple is reportedly planning to manufacture fewer than 400,000 headset units in 2024. The report, citing sources close to Apple and Luxshare (the Chinese manufacturer responsible for initial assembly), also highlights that two suppliers of specific components have disclosed that Apple has requested components for only 130,000 to 150,000 units in the first year.

This significant reduction in production estimates marks a departure from Apple’s earlier internal sales target of 1 million units in the first 12 months.

In addition to these supply chain challenges, Apple has reportedly postponed the launch of a more affordable version of the headset targeted at the mass market. While Apple has been working with Samsung and LG for the second-gen headset, sources suggest that the company insists on using micro-OLED technology even for the non-Pro version.

Apple officially announced its augmented reality headset during WWDC 2023. It will allow owners to interact with apps on its screens, while also viewing the real world at the same time. Apple calls it Spatial Computing.

Source: Financial Times


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