Mark Zuckerberg believes that Apple and his company are in a “very deep philosophical competition” to build the metaverse, suggesting that the two tech giants are willing to sell hardware for augmented and virtual reality.
The CEO of Meta told employees earlier this month that they were competing with Apple to determine “the direction the Internet should go,” according to a recording of his comments during an extensive internal meeting obtained by the edge. He said the Meta will position itself as a more open and cheaper alternative to Apple, which is expected to announce its first AR headset later this year.
“This is a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and integrating tightly they build a better consumer experience,” Zuckerberg said of the civilizational rivalry. “We believe there is a lot to be done in specialization across different companies, and [that] It would allow for a much larger ecosystem.”
Since changing Facebook’s name to Meta, Zuckerberg has been pushing the concept of metaverse interoperability, or what he sees as the next major chapter of post-mobile computing. recently dead Help Stand Up for Metaverse Open Standards Group With Microsoft, Epic Games and others. The idea is to incentivize the creation of open protocols that allow people to easily navigate through immersive 3D worlds of the future using their virtual goods.
Apple is absent from the group that Zuckerberg described as unsurprising in his comments to employees. He explained how Apple’s approach to building tightly controlled hardware and software has worked well with the iPhone, but for the metaverse, “it’s not really clear whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better.”
While CEO Tim Cook He was outspoken about the company’s interest In AR as a category, Apple has been characteristically silent about unannounced hardware plans. Even so, all signs point to The imminent release of a high-quality headphone Blur the full immersion of virtual reality with augmented reality experiences that span the real world. Meta is planning to release it Similar type of headphones later this yearwhich has the code name Cambria, which is also Equip your first real pair of augmented reality glasses.
If VR and AR take off as Zuckerberg hopes, it looks like he wants to put the Meta on Apple’s Android for iOS. There’s an analogy that can already be drawn: the Meta Quest headset actually allows sideloading of apps that aren’t approved by the Meta’s VR App Store, similar to the way Google’s Android allows sideloading. Although it is just Quest price hiked by $100Meta devices are still mostly sold at a loss or breakeven point.
Apple and Meta have never seen eye to eye. The former currently costs the last billions of dollars a year in lost ad revenue on iOS, thanks to its router asking people if they want a third-party app to track them to display ads. Zuckerberg’s notes suggest that even as he tries to devise his way out of Apple’s grip on mobile, the two tech giants will struggle for years to come.
Below is a slightly modified version of Zuckerberg’s June 30 answer to a Meta employee’s question about the metaverse competition with Apple:
Employee question: Apple is absent from the metaverse standards and is coming out with its own augmented reality glasses. How does this affect Oculus and our ecosystem? Thanks.
Mark Zuckerberg: I think it’s very clear that Apple is going to be a competitor to us, not just as a product but philosophically. We are approaching this in an open way and we are trying to build a more open ecosystem. We are trying to make more things interoperable with Android. We are trying to develop the metaverse in such a way that you can transport your virtual goods from one world to another. We set up the Metaverse Open Standards Group with a bunch of other people I just mentioned, and Apple didn’t join. But I don’t think this is a surprise. Apple was, for a few generations of computing now, the closed provider of computing.
This is a competition for philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and integrating tightly, they are building a better consumer experience. We believe there is a lot to be done in specialization across different companies, and [that] It would allow for a much larger ecosystem.
One of the things that I think is interesting is that it’s not really clear whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better. If you look at PCs, Windows obviously had a larger scale and became the default and the standard for people to use. The Mac did well, but I think PC and Windows were, I think, the first ecosystem in that environment.
On mobile, I’d say it’s completely different. There are more Android devices than iOS devices, but I think in developed countries and places like the US or Western Europe it’s kind of a high-end device, [and] A lot of cult authors and developers, I think this leans a little more towards the iPhone and iOS. So I say on mobile, Apple has really cared for themselves, which is why they are the most valuable company in the world, or perhaps one of the most valuable in the world.
But I don’t think the future is written here yet for the metaverse. And I think part of our work is that we’re going to continue to do ground-breaking research and push this across at all levels of the group. We do VR. We do Augmented Reality. We mainly offer our devices at little cost or subsidy, or slightly more than the cost in some cases. But the bottom line is that our business doesn’t primarily take a premium on hardware. We want as many people there to interact as possible. Part of that is to be an open and interoperable ecosystem.
Our North Star is Can we get a billion people into the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars apiece in digital commerce by the end of the decade? If we do, we will build as large a business as our current advertising activity during this decade. I think this is really exciting. I think a big part of how to do that is to push the open path forward, which is what we’re going to do.
Well, Apple will be a contender. I think that’s pretty obvious, but it’s actually a pretty deep contender. It’s not just [that] They have a device that has some more features than us. It is a very deep philosophical competition about which direction the Internet should go. And I’m proud of the investments we’re making to help drive the open equation around this and hopefully make the next version of computing more open.