Meta is reportedly banking on the launch of Apple Vision Pro helping boost its own VR headset business. A new report from The Wall Street Journal, which cites “people familiar” with the matter, says that Meta is hoping Vision Pro will “reinvigorate its $50 billion metaverse effort, which consumers have yet to widely embrace.”
The report explains that Meta executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, are “optimistic” about the launch of Vision Pro. They believe that Apple’s entry into the headset category will “validate” their existing business and “draw more consumers.”
“Meta employees see the Quest and its software ecosystem emerging as a primary alternative to Apple in the space, filling the role played by Google’s Android in smartphones,” the report explains. “The battle that Meta executives and industry insiders see coming centers on software makers who will play an outsize role in developing applications that will draw more users.”
Furthermore, even though Vision Pro hasn’t actually launched yet, the product has already “influenced Meta’s thinking.” The company is reportedly more focused on mixed reality than it initially was.
“Meta is increasingly focusing on mixed reality, which allows users to see virtual images overlaid on their real-world surroundings” the story says. “Previously, Meta talked more about the metaverse, an amorphous concept that imagined people working and playing in virtual reality.”
Apple executives have been critical of the so-called “metaverse” in the past. Greg Joswiak, for instance, said that “metaverse” is a word that he will never use. Tim Cook, meanwhile, questioned whether the “average person can tell you what the metaverse is.”
I’m excited to see how well this strategy goes for Meta. If history is any indication, you should never bet on Apple’s foray into your product category helping your business more than hurting it.
Something else worth noting is that Apple Vision Pro is only the beginning of Apple’s plans in this space. The company is already working on lower-cost versions of Vision Pro, and is working toward its eventual goal of augmented reality glasses of some sort.
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