At its annual software developer conference the following week, Apple is anticipated to unveil a new headset that would combine real-world and virtual media.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, and Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Platforms, are competing to determine how consumers will utilize a new generation of technology where the physical and virtual worlds collide.
Greg Joswiak, the head of marketing at Apple, on the other hand, recently referred to the metaverse as “a word I’ll never use.” Apple’s product is still only a rumor at this point. On Monday in California, Apple’s presentations at its Worldwide Developers Conference begin at 10 a.m. PDT (1700 GMT).
The business best known for its iPhones has up until now restricted its augmented-reality efforts to technology that runs on already-existing devices, such as allowing shops’ applications to show simulated furniture in a customer’s living room.
“Apple and Meta are in competition with one another. Anshel Sag, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, stated that the difference is that Meta is doing it publicly while Apple is doing it discreetly.
Analysts claim that the Apple product, which according to Bloomberg might cost close to $3,000 and resemble a pair of ski goggles, is really a temporary solution. The Cupertino, California, company’s long-term goal is to create a set of transparent spectacles that can be worn 24 hours a day and overlay digital information on the outside world, According to those analysts, though, it chose to introduce its own goggles in response to competition.
Apple declined to comment on its upcoming initiatives and offerings.
Apple’s rivals, like Sony Group Corp (6758.T) and Pico, which is owned by TikTok parent company ByteDance, have produced mixed-reality headsets that give a glimpse of what is possible by fusing the real and virtual worlds while the technology for Apple glasses is still years away. Following the launching of the Quest Pro headset, which costs $1,000, by Meta Platforms last year, the Quest 3 headset, priced at $500, was launched this week.
Since 2017, Apple has promoted augmented reality features for its iPhones and iPads, but the majority of people have only used these features in a few games and furniture shopping apps.
Analysts claim that one of Apple’s reasons for keeping its work under wraps is that no one in Silicon Valley is entirely certain how consumers will ultimately utilize mixed- or augmented-reality technology, which insiders refer to as “XR” for short. For the gadget, there is no “killer app” as of yet.
So rather than aiming for a mass-market pricing point, Apple looks to be preparing a premium device that is intended to demonstrate what is possible to software developers so they can create engaging apps.
“No one there believes this market will be anywhere near ripe in the foreseeable future,” said Ben Bajarin, chief executive and primary analyst at Creative Strategies.
The biggest danger for Apple is compromising its reputation for high-quality goods while fighting expensively with Meta for control of a still-nascent market. According to data from the research firm IDC, Meta held 80% of the 8.8 million unit market for augmented and virtual reality headsets last year. IDC believes that Apple alone sold 226 million iPhones in contrast.
Although Meta has goods available, Apple has a significant advantage in defining the area among software developers, according to Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC research manager who monitors the XR industry. With 2 billion devices installed worldwide, including Macs, Apple Watches, iPhones, and more, Apple has strong ties with developers who wish to use this installed base.
To keep users inside of their walled garden, they can make use of the ecology they’ve already established, according to Ubrani. And unlike Meta, Apple is in a far better position to provide you with a cross-platform experience.