Yes, Apple Vision Pro is being returned to stores - but this could actually be a good thing

An Apple Store staff member shows a customer how to use a Vision Pro headset.
(Image credit: Apple)

We’ve officially passed the two-week return window for the Apple Vision Pro, which allowed people who purchased the headset on launch day to hand it back. Social media buzz has suggested that the Vision Pro was being returned in droves. However, inside sources suggest this may not be the case - and offer an interesting insight into who is returning their headset, and why. 

In our Apple Vision Pro review, we touched on the positives and negatives of using the device and rounded up our top three reasons why users may end up returning the headset. As Apple’s first attempt at a mixed-reality headset, the product was always going to be rather polarizing. It lacks the backing of familiarity that other Apple products like a new iPhone or MacBook always have at this point. 

Not to mention the fact that the Apple Vision Pro is expensive. Retailing at $3,499/ £2,788, AU$6349, it’s easy to imagine more than a few returns are down to buyer's remorse - I know I would slink back to the Apple Store as soon as I found even the slightest discomfort or annoyance (or looked at my bank account, frankly). Especially if I couldn’t get my prescription sorted out for the headset or just found it really uncomfortable. 

In fact, AppleInsider reached out to sources within Apple’s retail chain for more info on the headset returns and noted that discomfort is probably one of the biggest concerns when it comes to it. "Most of our returns, by far, are within a day or two. They're the folks that get sick using it," one source told AppleInsider’s Mike Wuerthele. "The pukers, the folks that get denied by prescription-filling, that kind of thing. They know real quick."

Influencer investments - gotta get that content!

The second group of people that seem to be making up most of the returns are influencers and YouTubers. Again, the Vision Pro is a product many people want to get their hands on, so it would make sense that online tech ‘gurus’ would want to jump on the trend at launch. 

With the two-week return window offered by Apple, that’s more than enough time to milk the headset for as much content as possible then give it back, and get your money back too. If you’re a tech content creator, it’s easier to look at the Vision Pro as a short-term investment rather than a personal splurge. 

"It's just the f***ing YouTubers so far," one retail employee told Wuerthele. 

According to AppleInsider's sources, however, the return process isn’t as simple as just boxing the headset up and dropping it off. Each return is accompanied by a detailed, lengthy survey that will allow users to go in-depth on their reason for return and their experience with the product. This is great news in the long run because it could mean any future iterations of the Apple Vision Pro will be designed and built with this feedback in mind - and the Vision Pro is already arguably a public beta for what will presumably eventually become the ‘Apple Vision’.

Beyond AppleInsider's coverage, prolific Apple leaker and Bloomberg writer Mark Gurman has (unsurprisingly) chipped into the discussion surrounding Vision Pro returns. He reported much the same; some people think it's uncomfortable or induces sickness, while for others it's simply too much money. 

Gurman spoke to a Los Angeles professional who bought and returned the headset, who said 'I loved it. It was bananas,' but then went on to explain that he simply hadn't found himself using it that often, and that the price was just too much: “If the price had been $1,500 to $2,000, I would have kept it just to watch movies, but at essentially four grand, I’ll wait for version two.”

If users are returning it because they’re not using it as much as they thought they would, certain aspects are making them feel nauseous, or the headset is just really uncomfortable on their head, Apple can take this feedback in mind and carry it forward. It’s a common criticism of VR headsets in general, to be fair - perhaps some people just aren’t built for using this type of product?

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).