Apple's Vision Pro's Chinese Rival Xreal Claims It Has Shipped Almost 200K Units
Augmented reality (AR) glasses have gained significant attention in recent years, with companies like Apple and Xreal vying for dominance in this emerging market. Xreal, a Chinese startup backed by Alibaba, has made a bold claim, stating that its shipments of AR glasses will soon reach 200,000 units, less than a year after starting sales, reports CNBC.
In comparison, Apple's Vision Pro, set to be released next year, aims to charge a hefty $3,500 per headset. Let's delve deeper into the competition between these two companies and explore the demand for Apple's offering.
Xreal's Growing Popularity and Competitive Pricing
Xreal's Air glasses have gained traction in the market due to their affordability, priced at just $379, which is significantly lower than Apple's Vision Pro. Co-founder Peng Jin proudly announced that Xreal has shipped 100,000 units worldwide in just four months, and the company expects to reach 200,000 units soon. The success of Xreal can be attributed to the growing acceptance of the new form factor and the immersive experience it offers.
Spatial Computing and the Future of AR
Both Xreal and Apple's Vision Pro aim to replicate the physical screen experience through the use of spatial computing, although they operate on different technologies and offer varying capabilities. Peng Jin believes that spatial computing will be a major technological trend in the coming decades, and Xreal is well-positioned to capitalize on this shift. He emphasizes that Xreal doesn't need to focus on creating original content since the content is already available for their glasses.
Apple's Vision Pro Sales Forecast and Market Outlook
According to sources cited by the Financial Times, suppliers of Apple's Vision Pro project only a few hundred thousand units in the first year, which is lower than Apple's internal sales target of one million units. The reduced forecast is attributed to the headset's complexity and production difficulties. However, it's important to note that Apple has not officially commented on these projections.
The demand for VR headsets and AR devices saw a decline of over 12% in 2022, reaching 9.6 million shipments globally, as reported by CCS Insight. Despite this, analytics firm Canalys predicts that Apple's Vision Pro and related devices could amass a user base of 20 million within five years of its planned 2024 launch.
Differentiating Factors: Connectivity and User Experience
Nicole Peng, senior vice president of mobility at Canalys, suggests that for Vision Pro to succeed, it needs to replace personal computers, offering a distinct value proposition compared to Xreal and Meta. While Xreal's glasses require connectivity with a PC or a phone, Apple aims to provide a wireless and standalone experience with its Vision Pro headset.
Xreal's Challenges and Future Plans
Although Xreal's AR glasses have become the top-selling smart glasses on Amazon, they still have room for improvement in terms of content availability and connectivity. Reviews highlight the lack of content within Xreal's operating system and the difficulties of connecting the glasses to existing devices. Despite these downsides, users find value in the device for gaming experiences.
Xreal has ambitious plans for growth and expansion. The company is looking to raise additional capital, potentially in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. The company also has a partnership with Chinese electric car brand Nio to develop AR glasses for an immersive movie-watching experience inside vehicles.
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