Apple is ironing out the details for a top-secret Vision Pro training event. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the tech giant asked retail staff to apply for a discreet “product training event” in Cupertino that will take place early next year.
Details are naturally a bit limited, but based on what we know, the northern California gathering will be a “train the trainer” type event. “Selected team members will travel and participate in an event in Cupertino, California, sometime in the first months of 2024. Upon returning to their home store, they’ll deliver training and ongoing support to store team members,” reads a memo sent to Apple Store employees and reviewed by Gurman. “This is a group opportunity for those who have a deep passion for demonstrating Apple products and teaching others.” Those applying to the program must pass an interview before receiving the green light.
At first glance, it’s a bit odd that the Vision Pro would require such an unconventional retail training process; after all, we haven’t heard of a Cupertino retail rendezvous leading up to any other product releases. But the mixed reality headset is a beast, unlike any Apple device we’ve seen before. It’s $3,500, making it one of the brand’s most expensive mobile offerings. It also incorporates technology the average consumer is bound to find a bit bizarre, from eye-tracking cameras (the data from which Apple swears will be private) to a user interface that looks like it’s been cast into the environment around the viewer.
Together, these factors have Apple convinced the Vision Pro requires a bespoke purchasing experience. While most Apple devices can be purchased by waltzing into the store and chatting with a specialist, prospective Vision Pro buyers must make an appointment to check out the device in person. Some Apple stores will feature distinctive Vision Pro hands-on areas, while others will have just one or two headsets to woo curious consumers. Specialists will also assemble the Vision Pro for customers in-store, adding prescription lenses and custom bands as needed.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed during last month’s Wonderlust event that the Vision Pro is “on track for release in early 2024.” Although the news of Apple’s secretive retail training event doesn’t exactly narrow down that window, it does imply that the new device won’t be available at the start of the year, as event attendees will need time to train their colleagues back at their home stores.