A person wears an Apple Vision Pro headset. Their eyes are visible through the front of the device.

Apple is just hours away from launching preorders for its most important product since the release of the Apple Watch nearly a decade ago.

Preorders begin for the Vision Pro mixed-reality headset at 5 a.m. PT (8 a.m. ET) on Friday, January 19, with shipping starting two weeks later on February 2.

The tech giant has high hopes for the Vision Pro headset, but its hefty $3,499 price tag means that many Apple fans who would ordinarily dive in to try new gear from the tech giant may hold off on this one.

There will be discounts on the device at launch, but only for Apple employees, according to oft-reliable Apple tipster Mark Gurman. A recently circulated internal memo seen by Gurman reveals that staff at the company will be offered a 25% discount on the Vision Pro, reducing the cost of the headset to about $2,625. Apple will also reimburse the cost of any prescription lenses that are needed for the Vision Pro, the memo said.

The discount is a decent one, but as Gurman points out, it’s much less generous than the 50% markdown that Apple offered when it launched the Apple Watch and HomePod smart speaker, though admittedly they had more reasonable price tags.

As an additional perk, Apple staff also receive $500 every three years to spend on a Mac, a credit that they’ll apparently be able to apply to the headset.

While Apple is initially pitching the Vision Pro as a kind of Mac replacement with productivity and entertainment at its core, Gurman said that in a video sent to Apple employees this week, a couple of company executives listed health care, training, and education as potential areas of growth for the new headset.

Focusing on health care, one of the executives says in the video: “Oftentimes, surgeons struggle to look at displays during procedures, where information is spread out. Apple Vision Pro could bring all of that together and hopefully improve patient outcomes.”

As you’d expect, there’s a good deal of excitement around the device, but there are still some questions about it that will only be answered once it finally starts landing in the hands — or should we say on the heads — of early adopters early next month.

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