It's not easy to know how many Vision Pro mixed reality headsets Apple sold in the first weekend, but it's even harder to find out whether everyone bought them legally.
Estimates put Vision Pro sales at around 180,000 units over the weekend, and although Apple hasn't confirmed it, there are some signs that the Cupertino tech giant has sold out of Spatial Computing's launch. But a quick look at the popular auction site eBay reveals hundreds of Vision Pro headsets.
Since Apple hasn't shipped the first Vision Pro yet (pre-orders started on January 19th and will ship on February 2nd), most of the eBay auction offers are pre-order placeholders. It seems that. In one auction item, the seller wrote (all capital letters are his):
“This is a pre-order that will arrive on February 2nd. We will ship it the same day as long as it arrives by 4pm.”
Some listings will show marketing images of the Vision Pro, while others will simply show evidence of existing pre-orders. Prices range from less than $600 to more than $7,000. His basic 256GB model currently sells for $3,499.99 (Vision Pro does not ship outside the US).
eBay's offer suggests a price increase, but it's hard to imagine anyone paying twice as much for a mixed reality headset that hasn't been tested yet. Of more concern are offers under $1,000. The seller should pay Apple's approximately $3,500 upfront cost and then lose money. A low price is simply an opportunity to increase interest and bids.
Why is there so much excitement and amazing eBay activity? Apple Vision Pro is special. This is Apple's first new product category since the Apple Watch in 2015. Apple is launching a whole new category of spatial computing with this high-end and powerful wearable computer (embedded with M2 and R1 chips).
I have used the Vision Pro 4 times and I can agree that it is unlike anything else on the market. Particularly impressive is its eye and gesture tracking and ability to fluidly transition from full immersion to partial immersion and finally full pass-through with realistic augmented reality. It has the potential to transform entertainment, communication, gaming, and productivity. It also has a pretty high chance of failure, as consumers still don't fully understand why they would want to spend thousands of dollars on something they can just put on their head.
If you're thinking of bidding on these eBay offers, understand that off-brand prices aren't your only concern. Vision Pro cannot be ordered without a face scan to ensure you receive the correct light seal. Although the eBay seller has scanned it, there is no guarantee that the size and shape of your face will match (some may list the size of the light sticker to match your face size).
Additionally, if you wear glasses, you'll need a special Zeiss insert, which ranges from $99 to $149, to correct your vision within the Vision Pro. Otherwise, the system's two 4K microLED displays will look terrible. If you don't use Apple's guided ordering system, you won't be able to set up your headset to receive the appropriate insert at the same time you receive it from the seller.
I contacted Apple about the eBay listing to see if they had any concerns. I can imagine they're not happy about that.