As Apple prepares for the global launch of its highly anticipated Vision Pro mixed reality headsets, an interesting trend is developing in China. Tech enthusiasts eager to get their hands on the latest gadget face a unique challenge - a gray market where prices are rising. Customers are willing to pay more than double the original price of the headset. In China, Vision Pro has created a lot of hype among buyers, with resellers seizing this opportunity to double the asking price.
According to reports, eager customers are ready to shell out twice the official price to secure this high-tech device. The original price of $3,499 to $3,899, depending on the model, has been eclipsed by the gray market. However, this trend is not entirely new. The practice, known as Daigou, involves agents traveling abroad to buy luxury goods, which are then sold at home at significantly higher prices. Although the pandemic had put a damper on this market, the easing of travel restrictions has seen a resurgence.
With Apple's new product launch, Daigou sellers are back in action, promising deliveries from the US to China. Vision Pro is expected to make an impact in the mixed reality sector, an area where companies like Meta and Pico have previously ventured into with limited success. Apple's entry is seen as a game-changer, which can potentially revitalize the market.
Industry experts believe this could be the tipping point for VR/AR technologies, with significant growth in headset shipments this year. However, the industry also has its challenges. For example, Pico, a major VR brand, recently cut operations due to lower than expected sales. But with Apple's entry into the arena, the dynamic may shift in favor of augmented and virtual reality technologies.
For Apple, this move is more than just adding another product to their lineup; it's about diversifying revenue streams. With the iPhone as a major source of revenue, Vision Pro offers a new entry point, especially in tech-hungry markets like China.