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Meta vs Apple: Fighting for Metaverse Dominance in a Philosophical Way

Meta

Meta

Meta is in a “very deep, philosophical competition” with Apple over the future of technology and the metaverse.

Metaverse is the talk of the town. Every individual is (knowingly or unknowingly) becoming a part of this Virtual world. Tech giants are doing everything in their power to stand tall when it comes to this latest technology. The silent dominance war between Meta and Apple is now taking a turn towards Metaverse. Meta has publicly staked its future on the metaverse, framing it as a constellation of virtual worlds where people can play games, hang out with one another, and explore new experiences—and where companies can do business and advertise their wares, presumably in ways that Meta Platforms can monetize. While Apple has not officially announced any augmented or virtual reality hardware Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed interest in augmented reality. Apple has long been rumored to be developing different AR and VR devices, including a high-end Apple VR visor that could focus on virtual reality and gaming. Apple is also thought to be working on a smaller and lighter “Apple Glass” wearable that could be a companion to an iPhone.      

Introducing such a device would put Apple in direct competition with Meta, which has staked its future on the growth of the metaverse and invested heavily in hardware to make its vision of interconnected virtual worlds a reality.

According to a report, The Verge was able to obtain a recording of the CEO of Meta’s remarks at an internal all-hands meeting when he stated that they were competing with Apple to decide “what direction the internet should go in.” He claimed that Meta would present itself as Apple’s more accessible, less expensive rival. Apple is anticipated to introduce its first augmented reality headgear as early as later this year.

The simmering conflict, according to Zuckerberg, is a contest of ideologies. “They think that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating that they provide a superior consumer experience,” he remarked. “And we think that there is a lot more specialization across multiple organizations to be done, and will allow a much broader ecosystem to flourish,” the statement continued.

If VR and AR do take off like Zuckerberg hopes, it seems he wants to position Meta as the Android to Apple’s iOS. There is a parallel to draw already: Meta’s Quest headset already allows the side loading of apps that are not approved by Meta’s VR app store, similar to how Google’s Android allows for sideloading. And even though it just increased the price of the Quest by US$100, Meta’s hardware is still mostly sold at a loss or breakeven.

Apple and Meta have never been on the same page. The former is currently costing the latter billions of dollars a year in lost ad revenue on iOS, thanks to its prompt that asks people if they want a third-party app to track them for showing ads. Zuckerberg’s remarks suggest that even as he tries to invent his way out of being under Apple’s thumb on mobile, the two tech giants are going to be battling for years to come.

Meta, known as Facebook until it changed its name as part of its metaverse pivot last year, has disclosed plans for a mixed-reality headset code-named “Cambria” to be released this year. Apple has been heavily involved in creating web standards such as HTML5 in the past. For three-dimensional content in the metaverse, Apple worked with Pixar on the “USDZ” file format and with Adobe to ensure it supported the format.

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