Although the Magic Leap One: Creators Edition is currently officially available in only six US cities, those living outside of Magic Leap's designed US cities now have a roundabout way to order the device.
Residents in over 110 countries can now place an order for a Magic Leap One through a third party, namely, New York City-based Big Apple Buddy.
Billed as a shopping concierge, the New York-based company charges customers for the cost of the item ordered, shipping via DHL or FedEx, and a service fee of $50 for the first item and $15 for each additional item. The company promises delivery in "as little as two business days," although Magic Leap's official documentation quotes 120 days for fulfillment.
"Being from Australia, I know exactly how frustrating it is buying US products from the other side of the world," said Phillis Chan, founder and CEO of Big Apple Buddy, in a statement on the company's website explaining the initial inspiration for the company nearly four years ago.
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Part of the reason the Magic Leap One's rollout is so limited is because Magic Leap adds a complimentary delivery service, which the company calls LiftOff, with each order. Facilitated by delivery partner Enjoy, the Magic Leap One is delivered in-person at a scheduled time and location, with delivery reps assisting customers with setting up the device.
Magic Leap goes so far as to state in its Care Center documentation that the personal delivery is a requirement. If this is the case, then how does Big Apple Buddy circumvent the LiftOff service?
"I can confirm that it's a requirement for Magic Leap to set up the device in-person to make sure it's operational. Unfortunately, there is no way to circumvent this requirement," said Chan in an email to Next Reality. "However, the package does contain instructions so the end user can recalibrate the device once they receive it."
So, does that mean that Big Apple Buddy goes through this same process?
"Yes, I can confirm that we accept the device at our office and we go through each set up in-person with the Magic Leap reps," said Chan. "Because the Magic Leap team needs to test the device when they perform the set up, it does mean that the device is opened prior to being shipped to the customer. We do inform the customer of this process."
Another part of the process is choosing the correct Magic Leap One device size (either size 1 or 2, depending on your interpupillary distance, or IPD). Big Apple Buddy handles this by having the buyer download the Magic Leap app (iOS and Android) beforehand to measure their IPD so the Enjoy representative can give Big Apple Buddy the correct device size.
But there's another possible landmine to this service — Magic Leap's "Terms of Sale." Those terms state that the device cannot be resold and that Magic Leap will cancel any sale of any device that it suspects will be resold. That raises the question: Since Big Apple Buddy is accepting the delivery and opening the device, is the company's process considered a resale of the device?
"We are a procurement service that sources products for its clients," said Chan, who confirmed that the company has already sent clients Magic Leap One devices using the process. "We do not consider ourselves a reseller. Magic Leap are aware that we are purchasing the items on behalf of our clients."
Another point that may be of concern to some in this seller-concierge-buyer triangle is warranty processing. According to Chan, her company also offers a warranty claim support for international customers. For a service fee, Big Apple Buddy processes warranty claims and fulfills shipment of replacement devices.
While Magic Leap delivery is still limited to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle, Magic Leap notes that the delivery territory will expand, and urges customers to check their ZIP code through a tool on its website to see if they are eligible to receive the device.
In the meantime, Chan says that Big Apple Buddy could also be helpful to domestic customers outside of Magic Leap's current six city delivery map, as they have sent the device to other US cities for clients who "prefer to outsource their procurement needs." In the case of international buyers, they'll need to contact the company to make sure that their country is included in the company's service, as some territories, such as China and India, are not on Big Apple Buddy's delivery list.
It sounds like a leap of faith for buyers to entrust the purchase of a $2,300 device (particularly one with an abnormal delivery service model and strict terms and conditions) to a third party that will actually open the package before the buyer does. And since we haven't used the service directly, we should caution that we can't vouch for its overall quality. Nevertheless, after several years in business, the company appears to have maintained a generally positive profile and we were unable to find much in the the way of negative reviews.
All that said, remember that this is a first-generation device with unknown issues that may arise in the coming months regarding servicing and usage, so when using anything outside of official Magic Leap channels, you're definitely taking a calculated risk.
Additional reporting by Adario Strange