TECH

At the moment, the early return rate for Apple Vision Pro is quite low.

Apple Vision Pro return rate is difficult to analyze

Since this is a polarizing product, it's obviously a throwback to Apple's Vision Pro headsets . So far, rumors that it is being brought back en masse to Apple Retail appear to be false.

When opinions on a product are as varied as the Apple Vision Pro, some will be disappointed. And with that disappointment comes comeback.

Apple's generous return policy doesn't prevent things like this. Apple allows returns within 14 days of purchase for almost any reason, as long as you return the product complete.

On Wednesday, reports began that a comeback season was approaching, citing Twitter sources and complaints about the headset. These are all justified complaints from returnees — but holding them as a sign of mass return is not.

With the help of sources inside Apple's retail network of 24 stores, mostly located on the East Coast of the United States, I've kept track of the return volumes as best I can over the past week. So far, there are not many opportunities for a return, and certainly not a catastrophic flood.

As of press time, approximately 1:00 pm ET on February 16th, the Apple Vision Pro's return rate does not appear to be any higher than other Apple products.

I'm going to preface these quotes with a single statement about all of them. All of these people will likely be fired if Apple finds out who they are, so they will not be named. No one.

What Apple employees are telling me about Apple Vision Pro returns

“We've had a few in a few days, which is within the normal range for new things around the world region “,” one senior Apple Retail employee with whom I've been communicating for more than a decade and who is not authorized to speak on behalf of the company told me on Friday morning. “Maybe like non-professional iPhone levels, proportionately, two weeks after release?”

Other retail sources told me that Apple seemed to be expecting a high level of returns, given its in-store documentation on the matter, but there doesn't appear to be an uptick.

“We have a checklist that we were given to follow when returning: making sure all the parts are there, the packaging is not damaged, things like that,” another source at another store told me. “I think I’ve used it twice this week.”

I do not have any information about online returns. However, there is no reason to believe that revenues from this channel will be higher in proportion to retail revenues.

And it is difficult to obtain data on profitability. I don't know how many units were sold in total at retail, and I don't have an accurate idea of ​​how many units were sold at each store.

Data collection is further complicated by the fact that online sales tend to feed back into retail more often than vice versa.

“When the [Apple Silicon] Mac Pro went on sale, we only sold a couple of them,” a senior source told me. “Most of the revenue we generated from this product was purchased online. At the moment, the same is happening with Apple Vision Pro.”

All I can do right now is to draw a conclusion based on what retail professionals who have been dealing with these types of returns for some time can tell us about the situation. Apple itself will never talk or provide data.

Who is returning the Apple Vision Pro?

Aside from buyer's remorse over a $3,500 purchase, there are two main groups that return items. The first group are buyers who immediately experienced biological incompatibility with the headset.

“Most of our returns by far happen within a day or two. These are the people who get sick using it,” one source told me, echoing what I've heard throughout the week from others . “Pukes, people being denied prescriptions, things like that. They understand everything very quickly.”

Another important segment of technology users are media producers who use purchase as free rental. When I asked who seems to return the headset the most, we got a clear answer.

“It’s just fucking YouTubers for now,” one retail employee told me exasperatedly late Thursday night.

I was surprised by the outpouring of response, as was the rest of the AppleInsider staff when I shared this on our Slack. So I asked other Apple retail employees about this.

“Oh yeah, these guys, yeah. Every product, every time,” one contact told me. “I'm going to hunt you down if I hear you got yours back.”

To the source above, since I know you're reading: The image that begins this part is purely representative.

February 16—two weeks from the date of first receipt of the headset. We'll be monitoring this tonight and over the weekend and will update accordingly if the situation changes.

And, in case you were wondering, we don't give anything back to AppleInsider employees.

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