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Apple feels the heat after waves of customers return their Vision Pro headsets

Apple’s first spatial computer has been making headlines worldwide – although not always for all the right reasons. While influencers and tech-savvy consumers have been prone to laud the merits of the Vision Pro headset, several controversies have marred its launch, the latest of which has seen unhappy customers return the device within weeks of purchasing it.

Apple’s Vision Pro Headset: A Launch of Praise and Controversy

First revealed in June last year, Apple’s ground-breaking mixed-reality headset was hailed by Tim Cook as the beginning of a brand-new era for computing. The company marketed Vision Pro as an all-in-one system that could largely replace TVs, computers, and smartphones. These virtual goggles offer their wearers to experience augmented reality like never before, turning their home into a genuine movie theatre or a futuristic-looking workspace by overlaying digital content onto their physical environment.

Apple's Vision Pro Headset: A Launch of Praise and Controversy
Apple’s Vision Pro Headset: A Launch of Praise and Controversy

Given the product’s steep price, starting at a whopping $3,499 for the baseline 256GB storage version, many were unconvinced by these lofty promises. Accounting for upsells and accessories, the true cost of the headset is almost four times that of a new phone. Despite that premium pricing, just as many techies rushed to the nearby Apple store to grab that exclusive headset. But some are already returning the device amid complaints of sickness issues.

Eye strain, headaches, and nausea-inducing motion sickness are some of the problems that Vision Pro users have been reporting, ranging from mild inconveniences to serious health concerns. Prominent voices in tech circles, such as digital guru Neil Patel and AI engineer Thomas H. Chapin IV, took to X to explain why they returned their goggles. Other users expressed their disappointment at the headset being too uncomfortable due to its sheer weight, which adds up to over two pounds with the entire package. Apple tried to tackle this concern pre-emptively by selling swappable head straps meant to fit every skull, but these attempts may have proven insufficient.

While it is hard to gauge the product’s return rate based on social posts alone, Apple might still have a PR problem going on. The egregious stunts that many Vision Pro owners have been pulling off are not helping its case. Wearing the device in public has become widespread, drawing parallels with Netflix’s dystopian show Black Mirror. Concerns have also emerged after viral videos showed drivers hitting the road with the goggles on. Although such videos may be staged, numerous officials have weighed in to protect driver’s safety. US Secretary of Transport Pete Buttigieg chimed in on the burning topic, reinforcing that advanced driver assistance systems still required the full attention of a human driver behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, unflattering comparisons have surfaced online between Apple’s cutting-edge product and similar headsets. Writing on X, some users confess to having never experienced any headaches trying other VR headsets. While Vision Pro displays a significantly better resolution and sharpness, many tech enthusiasts no less favour its competitor, the Meta Quest 3. With a £479.99 price tag for its base model, Meta’s mixed-reality headset comes at a much more affordable cost, which Mark Zuckerberg himself stressed out in his Vision Pro review. Incidentally, this budget-friendly VR solution has gained traction among gamers, giving access to acclaimed games like Project Demigod and Asgard’s Wrath II.

Before long, every player could jump aboard a spaceship or sit at a virtual poker table with unprecedented immersion. Pioneering as always, the iGaming sector has been committing significant resources to advancing VR implementation on mobile and PC. Until then, casino games can still be enjoyed virtually without putting a headset on. And the best online casinos in the UK are available with a simple click. British players can browse niche sites and big brands alike, from mobile-responsive websites to slots-exclusive platforms. Industry experts have scoured the web on their behalf to try and test various options, assessing everything from a casino’s bonus policy to its customer support and payout options. Besides, all vetted websites are duly licensed and safe to navigate.

Piling up on that discontent, some users have lamented the lack of utility of Apple’s latest tech gadget, running out of reasons to wear the device after mere days and boxing it up again. Surely, the company will address such comfort and functionality issues. Just like any bold bet, the tech could not be perfect from day one. Despite the controversies, there is no doubt that Apple will keep on harnessing that revolutionary spirit that made it so successful in the first place.

Murat Oktay

Video games have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have been writing and managing in the game industry for more than 30 years. I've been playing Diablo 2 nonstop since it first came out.

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