A new rivalry is beginning to brew between Apple and Meta, who have previously had quite strong clashes over data privacy issues and their impact on advertising business. Nevertheless, the new fight will be played in the field of metaverse.
Some time ago, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (formerly known as Facebook), had an internal meeting with his employees, to which the digital media The Verge had access thanks to recordings of the attendees. In this meeting, Zuckerberg has admitted that the rivalry between the two companies goes beyond money and focuses on a “very deep philosophical competence”, where it will be defined “which direction the internet should go”.
These remarks came after a meeting attendee asked what effect Apple’s launch of virtual and augmented reality devices would have on Meta. In response, Zuckerberg was candid and expressed concern about Apple’s entry into the metaverse, stating, “I think it’s pretty clear that Apple will be a competitor to us, not only as a product, but also philosophically.”
Open or closed source metaverses
Zuckerberg has not welcomed the fact that Apple has not joined the Metaverse Open Standards Group (Metaverse Open Standards Group), an initiative involving major companies such as Microsoft and Epic Games (Fortnite, Fall Guys), which was created with the aim of promoting open protocols in this environment, allowing users can more easily move between all the virtual worlds together with their goods.
And it is that from the beginning, Meta has opted for an open source metaverse, an interoperable digital world, where users can replicate real-life daily activities such as working (Horizon Workrooms), having fun (Horizon World) and being at home (Horizon Home). And of course, without neglecting business, developing multiple monetization spaces for content creators.
For now, the goal is that more people can access the metaverse, so the CEO says that his company would be the most open and economical alternative, “Can we get a billion people into the metaverse generating hundreds of dollars in digital commerce by the end of the decade? If we do that, we’ll build a business as big as our current ad business within this decade,” Zuckerberg said.
They will also compete in hardware
For its part, Apple seems to be focusing its efforts on creating a closed ecosystem, in which only their devices and services can operate. Although until now they have kept secret all their hardware Creation Plans For The Metaverse, Everything indicates that they are working on the launch of high-end glasses of mixed reality that are expected to be available in early 2023. These promise more advanced features, such as higher resolution screens, sensors for detecting movement of each part of the body and objects in the environment. Meta is also making progress in this field, with the forecast of launch its new virtual reality glasses later this year.
What is certain is that not even Zuckerberg himself knows what type of ecosystem can work better or will be more successful, despite the fact that he believes that the Meta option will be more affordable than Apple. Furthermore, he explained that “One of the things that I think is interesting is that it is not very clear in advance whether an open or closed ecosystem is going to be better (…) But I just don’t think the future is written here yet for the metaverse. And I think part of our job is that we’re going to continue to lead the investigation. We are doing virtual reality. We are doing AR.”
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