Nasdaq rises 2% to lead the market’s rise, the Dow lags behind, and Boeing falls 8%

Nasdaq rises 2% to lead the market’s rise, the Dow lags behind, and Boeing falls 8%

Apple (AAPL) will launch its new Vision Pro headset in the U.S. on February 2, the company announced Monday, in what CEO Tim Cook called the dawn of spatial computing.

Customers can get the headset, which retails for $3,499 with 256GB of storage, at US Apple Store locations and the online store. The company said that pre-orders for the device will begin on January 19.

Apple shares rose nearly 1.5% at the open, leading the stock toward a win after a painful week.

The official release of the VR and AR headsets marks an important moment for the company as consumers get their hands on Apple’s biggest product launch in nearly a decade.

“The age of spatial computing has arrived,” Cook said in a statement. “Apple Vision Pro is the most advanced consumer electronics device ever. Its revolutionary and magical user interface will redefine how we communicate, create and explore.”

Apple’s upcoming expansion of its hardware lineup comes at a difficult moment for the tech giant. Cupertino is coming off a rough week, in which traders wiped more than $175 billion off market value after two analyst downgrades sparked punitive selling.

Apple shares are closely watched because, as the most valuable company on the market, they represent a large percentage of the benchmark S&P 500 index. A company’s financial performance can affect the broader stock market. Given Apple’s massive user base, and its operations in vital markets like China, the company also serves as a barometer of the health of the global economy.

The headset in particular is a test case for Apple to chart a new course as older device categories, most notably the iPhone, reach maturity.

Apple’s most critical observers have framed the demand for cooling for its devices as a sign of the company’s slow demise. However, bullish supporters contend that Wall Street is underestimating the power of Apple’s hardware. It also highlights Apple’s huge potential to grow its services business. Wedbush’s Dan Ives, a leading Apple bull, estimates that Apple’s services business alone is worth a staggering $1.6 trillion.

The Vision Pro runs on a new operating system, called VisionOS, that features a new 3D user interface and inputs controlled by the user’s eyes, hands, and voice. Apple’s device will go head-to-head with Meta’s (META) Quest headset, pitting the US tech giant against another, as Silicon Valley tries to sell augmented and virtual reality as the technology’s next frontier, alongside the rapid development of generative artificial intelligence.

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