Meta, Apple Competing to Conquer the Metaverse


The future direction of the metaverse might come down to Meta and Apple competing head to head in a race to sell hardware for the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) space, The Verge reported on Wednesday (July 27).

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that Meta and Apple are in a “very deep, philosophical competition” to build the metaverse. Meta is planning to position itself as the less expensive and more open version of whatever Apple is offering, according to the report.

Apple is anticipated to announce the release of its first AR headset before the end of 2022.

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Zuckerberg told employees earlier in July that Meta and Apple were competing to figure out “what direction the internet should go in,” The Verge reported, citing a recording of Zuckerberg’s comments during an internal all-hands meeting at Meta.

“This is a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating that they build a better consumer experience,” Zuckerberg said. “And we believe that there is a lot to be done in specialization across different companies, and [that] will allow a much larger ecosystem to exist.”

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Zuckerberg has been working toward a concept of interoperability for the metaverse and what “he sees as the next major chapter of computing after mobile phones,” The Verge reported.

Meta’s Metaverse Open Standards Group with Microsoft, Epic Games and others helped form the establishment of open protocols to enable people to seamlessly move through future immersive, 3D worlds with their virtual goods. Apple isn’t part of the group.

Zuckerberg told employees that he’s not surprised Apple isn’t part of the Metaverse Open Standards Group since Apple’s approach of building hardware and software under tight controls worked well with the iPhone, but it’s not clear what will be best for the metaverse.