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Apple Is Ready to Enter Its Metaverse Era

Adam Lienhard
Apple Is Ready to Enter Its Metaverse Era

On June 5th, Apple made its official foray into the Metaverse world with the launch of Apple Vision Pro earphones. This product is an augmented and virtual reality headset that has been in development for over a decade. Vision Pro marks Apple’s first venture into a new product category since the Apple Watch in 2015. The device was unveiled at WWDC 2023 in June and is scheduled to be available for purchase in early 2024.

Not just a headset

Although the Apple Vision Pro can be classified as a headset, Apple chooses not to refer to it as such. Instead, it is called a spatial computer due to its remarkable capability of seamlessly integrating digital content with the real world.

The Apple Vision Pro is a mixed-reality headset that showcases AR blended with the real world and fully immersive virtual content. However, it’s important to note that the headset does not allow you to see through it, meaning everything you see is digital. 

To display augmented reality content without making the real world disappear, Apple uses cameras to map out your surroundings and translate them into a digital image that is then augmented with virtual elements.

Apple VS Meta VS Microsoft

Competing in the world of Metaverse won’t be easy for Apple. Established players like Mark Zuckerberg’s project and Microsoft have already made headway in this field. So, Apple may face some challenges.

Apple may face significant challenges in distributing its Metaverse product. According to a Bloomberg report from April, the company initially projected sales of approximately 3 million units annually but later revised this estimate to 900,000.

This adjustment was necessary due to other manufacturers’ difficulty attracting customers. For example, Microsoft’s HoloLens has reportedly struggled to gain a foothold in the market, with plans for a new model being cancelled.

Meta, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg, is an example of a business that has sold approximately 20 million Quest units. However, the company has already started reducing prices to make its headset more attractive to potential buyers. In March, the cost of their high-end headset was lowered by $500. 

On June 1, Zuckerberg announced the release of the new Meta Quest 3 headset with a 40% reduction in thickness and a doubled graphics performance compared to its predecessor. 

Public perception

There are differing opinions on Apple’s potential success. Palmer Luckey, a co-founder of Oculus (owned by Meta), is expressing positive views that could lead to a sales boost for Apple.

However, a former Apple marketing executive has a more pessimistic outlook, suggesting that the headset could become one of the biggest tech flops ever.

In any event, the scale of buy-in that Apple needs to justify costs — which Bloomberg reported to have exceeded $1 billion annually — is enormous.

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