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Apple Vision Pro shipments reportedly cut as US demand for headset wanes

Apple Vision Pro

Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple has reduced its orders for Apple Vision Pro parts and assemblies, with the cut in shipments said to indicate lower demand for Apple's headset than previously thought.

The launch of the Apple Vision Pro in the United States was a success, with shipment estimates in February being far better than Apple's original estimate. However, months later, it seems Apple is preparing for considerably lower consumer demand as it moves into international sales.

According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Tuesday, Apple has cut its shipment orders for the Apple Vision Pro in 2024 down to between 400,000 and 450,000 units. This is said to be far below the market consensus for shipments at 700,000 to 800,000 units.

Although, "market consensus" is never an indicator of what Apple's plans actually are. It's probable that Kuo is seeing disturbances in the supply chain, but it is almost always better to over-estimate demand than fall short. Fall iPhone shortages are the best example of not enough on hand causing a problem.

Kuo's latest supply chain survey indicates that Apple's decision to cut orders before launching the headset in other countries means US demand has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." This drop in demand has, in theory, prompted Apple to be more conservative in its expectations for non-US market sales.

Apple is currently in the process of preparing the Apple Vision Pro for launch in international markets, with China expected to receive the device as part of the first wave of expansion.

Apple is also reportedly making changes to its product roadmap for headsets, in view of demand changes. It is now theorized that the next iteration of the Apple Vision Pro may not arrive in 2025 after all.

The forecast for the next Apple Vision product has been hazy, though, and Kuo's forecast may not be a shift at all. Time will ultimately tell on that.

It is also claimed in the report that Apple expects shipments of the Apple Vision Pro to decline year-on-year in 2025. This appears to be mostly speculation as well.

Kuo's track record is generally excellent. For over a decade, though, supply chain reporting has indicated "order cuts" in everything Apple ships, a few months after release, and to date, the company does not seem to be dramatically impacted.

In January, it was estimated that Apple had sold 200,000 Apple Vision Pro units, reportedly more than expected. Return rates still approximate the non-Pro iPhone return rate.