Apple's Vision Pro AR headset to go on sale in February

Apple said on Monday its Vision Pro device will be available in the United States from Feb. 2, months after it was launched to capture an augmented-reality (AR) headset market dominated by Facebook-parent Meta Platforms.

Vision Pro is Apple's most expensive bet since the launch of the iPhone more than a decade ago. The AR headset starts at $3,499 and costs more than thrice as much as the priciest headset in Meta's line of mixed and virtual reality devices.

Apple's Vision Pro can be pre-ordered starting Jan. 19 at 5 am PST, the company said. The device uses a new chip called R1 that will process information from its sensors in less time than the blink of an eye.

The headset will test a market crowded with devices that are yet to gain traction among consumers, and put it in direct competition with Meta after years of clashes between the companies over issues like user privacy and control of developer platforms.

The device must be plugged to a power source at all times. Apple said it tried to reduce the headset weight with an external battery, which can run up to 2 hours.

Meta's top-of-the-line Quest Pro mixed reality device, which blends virtual reality with the real world video feed, offers about two hours of battery life directly on the headset, without an external battery pack.

Apple launched a new series of iPhones with a titanium shell, a faster chip and improved abilities to play video games, in September, but did not raise prices amid a global smartphone slump.

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