Apple CEO Tim Cook does not want to talk about the metaverse
Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to discuss VR and AR in a way that suggests Apple’s imminent entry into the market. However, this has been the case for years.
Augmented reality is a “profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook says in a recent interview. Life without AR will soon be unimaginable; it “won’t be long now.”
These are just about the exact phrases Cook has been pulling out of his rhetoric drawer for years when reporters ask about Apple’s AR plans. Cook already said at the end of 2018 that life without AR would “soon” no longer be imaginable.
So far, however, Apple has limited itself to simple AR applications with the smartphone, which cannot fulfill Cook’s full-bodied promises. In early 2023, an expensive tech headset from Apple with mixed reality mode is supposed to be launched or at least unveiled.
No Metaverse for Apple
Cook is skeptical about the term metaverse. He says it is important for people to understand exactly what a term stands for. ” I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is,” Cook says.
Apple reporter Mark Gurman reported earlier this year, referring to an internal source, that the M-word was taboo at Apple. Customers should not get the impression that they can use an Apple headset to isolate themselves in virtual worlds. The device is designed for in-between use.
Cook’s current statements confirm this attitude: VR is very immersive and can be used in a good way, says Cook. But you wouldn’t want to live in it.
“VR is for regular periods, but not a way to communicate well. So I’m not against it, but that’s how I look at it,” Cook says.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees himself in a metaverse contest with Apple despite Cook’s dismissive remarks, which he sees as a “competition of philosophies and ideas.”
Mixed reality headsets on the rise
Apple’s upcoming tech headset is expected to offer AR video mode and VR mode, but will look more like a VR headset from the outside, meaning it will have a screen on the front instead of transparent glass. In terms of marketing, Apple will probably focus on augmented reality.
Bytedance company Pico (Pico 4 Pro), Meta (Quest Pro), and Lenovo are also launching such devices in the coming weeks. The firms want to anchor XR headsets with AR video mode more firmly in the working world and in everyday office life, for example for virtual screens. However, Apple could have a clear advantage thanks to the existing office app ecosystem for software and hardware.
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