Why Apple Is Not Planning to Follow Facebook Into the Metaverse
Where Zuckerberg goes, Tim Cook is unlikely to follow.
The metaverse is all the rage right now, but at least one member of the big tech club is not interested. According to rumors, Apple will launch its virtual reality headset in 2022. With its record of industry-changing products, consumers might expect the device to be an entry point into the metaverse. Instead, Apple’s vision is far more limited.
So what is Apple planning to do, and why are they not boarding the metaverse train? Let’s find out.
A Different Approach
When Facebook rebranded to Meta, they presented a vision of an always-on virtual world, where humanity meets to work and play, all day, every day. Mark Zuckerberg is betting the future of Facebook on it and has announced 10,000 vacancies for engineers to build the metaverse.
Apple will likely launch its long-awaited virtual reality headset in 2022. However, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg—who usually gets his tech news correct—Apple’s device will not be a portal into the metaverse.
Instead, they seem to view it as a more powerful version of a smartphone. Its purpose will be “bursts of gaming, communication and content consumption”. Once you are done with your activity, you are done. Facebook’s vision, on the other hand, is apparently to keep you locked in permanently.
Apple has never been a big fan of Facebook’s business model. Its decision to help users opt-out of advertiser tracking reportedly cost Facebook, and other social media companies, billions of dollars.
Secondly, and most importantly, Apple is a hardware company. Building a virtual world would not be in keeping with its core business. Apple will not miss out on the metaverse though. Its reputation for high-quality devices means that when the metaverse is widely available, many users will opt to log in with an Apple device.
The iOS 14.5 update is bad news for Facebook’s business model.
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