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Apple Vision Pro pre-orders open — and you’ll definitely want AppleCare Plus

 Apple Vision Pro.
Apple Vision Pro.

Pre-orders for Apple’s long-awaited Vision Pro mixed reality headset opened yesterday ahead of the device’s release on February 2.

Demand isn’t expected to be as high as for other Apple launches, on account of the sky-high price of the hardware. The company revealed the $3,499 price tag back in June last year, but it turns out that’s just the starting price.

If you go through the optional upgrades and extras, you can add $499 on, bumping the total up to $3,998. That includes an upgrade to 1TB of onboard storage (+$400) and prescription Optical Inserts from Zeiss (starting at $99).

Said lenses go up to $149, and there are also a couple of optional accessories that can add an extra $248.95 on too: A Vision Pro Travel Case ($199) and a Belkin Battery Holder ($49.95).

These are clearly optional, but one purchase early adopters will certainly want to make alongside Vision Pro is AppleCare Plus. Yes, at $499 for two years it’s around 14% of the price of the headset itself, but when you see the price of repairs, you’ll appreciate that, in this instance, peace of mind is well worth the cost.

Not worth the risk

Apple Vision Pro EyeSight
Apple Vision Pro EyeSight

Apple has published a service page for Vision Pro with the repair costs included, and the fees involved aren’t exactly pocket change. Repairs fall into two categories: “cracked cover glass” which will cost $799 to fix, and the incredibly vague “other damage,” which comes to $2,399.

In other words, if your Vision Pro headset takes a tumble cracking the front glass and causing miscellaneous damage inside, you’ll be on the hook for a $3,198 bill — or around 91% of the cost of a new headset.

Paying for AppleCare Plus doesn’t eliminate these costs entirely, but it does bring them down a lot. Both repairs drop to $299, meaning that including the additional cost of coverage, the accident outlined above would cost you a grand total of $1,097 (or 31% of the new price).

It’s always tempting to take your chances on skipping extended warranties with hardware in a bid to keep the price down, but we’d definitely encourage early adopters to pay for peace of mind here.

Not only is first-generation hardware often less reliable than future iterations (at this point, Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone for over 15 years, making it extremely reliable), but when you’re talking about hardware that covers the eyes, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential for accidental damage.

Our early impressions of Vision Pro have been very promising, with our global editor Mark Spoonauer describing it as “chock-full of ‘wow’ moments,” but the price certainly puts it out of reach of most consumers. It will be interesting to see if early adopters are still using the headset every day in six months’ time.