To ensure the success of its upcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset, Apple is making Vision Pro developer kits available. These kits will provide qualified developers with a loaned headset and additional support, including assistance with setup, expert "check-ins", and extra support requests.
However, access to these kits isn't guaranteed - developers will need to submit an application. Eligibility extends beyond merely being part of the Apple Developer Program. Applicants will need to provide details about their existing apps and the overall talent of their team. Apple will favor those whose apps leverage the features of the Vision Pro. Therefore, new developers or those merely porting an iPad app are less likely to secure a headset.
Those who don't qualify will have to rely on the visionOS beta software. And for those who do get their hands on the Vision Pro, they will need to keep it in a secure workspace that only authorized team members can access. Apple retains the right to request the return of the unit at any time.
While it appears that the current kit may primarily end up with larger developers, this launch provides insight into Apple's strategy to attract app creators for the Vision Pro. The company seems to prioritize polished experiences that highlight the capabilities of the headset over a large app catalog. Considering the Vision Pro's price tag of $3,499 and its targeting towards professionals and enthusiasts, this approach isn't surprising. However, smaller studios may need some time before they can conduct real-world testing and release apps.