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Chinese Consumers Pay Double for Apple Vision Pro Mixed Reality Headsets in Grey Market Ahead of Official Launch

Chinese consumers are paying double the official price for Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset in the grey market. Resellers are offering to ship the headset from the US to China ahead of its official launch next month. The market for Daigou products, including luxury items imported for Chinese customers, experienced significant growth before the pandemic.

Chinese consumers are eagerly anticipating the release of Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset, and some are willing to pay double the official price to get their hands on it before its official launch next month. A grey market has emerged in China, with resellers offering to ship the gadget from the US to China for a hefty premium.


According to a search on Xianyu app, a popular online flea market owned by Alibaba Group Holding, dozens of merchants are offering to sell the Vision Pro headset at double the official price. The headset, initially only available in the US, is priced at US$3,499, US$3,699, and US$3,899 for the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB versions respectively. Apple plans to introduce the product to China, the United Kingdom, and Canada after its US release.


The resellers, known as "Daigou" in Chinese, are individuals who travel overseas to bring back luxury goods that are in high demand in China. They mark up the prices and require a significant upfront deposit. The market for Daigou products, particularly luxury items imported for Chinese customers, experienced significant growth before the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching 685 billion yuan in 2019, according to market researcher iiMedia.


With the easing of border controls in China, cross-border sales have resumed, allowing Daigou to travel again. Last year, border control authorities processed 210 million entries into China, including returning Chinese nationals, marking a 37% decrease compared to 2019.


Apple's entry into the mixed reality headset market is seen as an opportunity for the tech giant to diversify its revenue sources. Despite a slight drop in sales during the previous financial year, Apple still generated US$383 billion in annual sales, with the iPhone accounting for more than half of that amount.


While other companies like Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) and Chinese brands like Pico have been producing virtual reality (VR) devices for years with limited success, analysts believe that Apple's entry into the market will reignite interest and competition. Ramon Llamas, research director for mobile devices and AR/VR at market intelligence IDC, stated that Apple's entry will bring much-needed attention to the VR industry and force other companies to compete in different ways.


Although the past year saw a decline in AR/VR headset shipments, IDC forecasts a growth of nearly 47% this year, thanks to new launches such as the Vision Pro headset. However, some players in the industry, like Pico, have faced challenges and have initiated job cuts due to weak demand.

 
  • Chinese consumers are paying double the official price for Apple's Vision Pro mixed reality headset in the grey market.

  • Resellers are offering to ship the headset from the US to China ahead of its official launch next month.

  • The market for Daigou products, including luxury items imported for Chinese customers, experienced significant growth before the pandemic.


Source: SCMP

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