The battle between Apple and Meta headsets will determine the future of the internet – Zuckerberg

The future of the Internet will depend on the outcome of the battle between Apple and Meta, said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

He told employees that the two companies have very different visions for Metaverse, and admitted that it’s still not clear which is better…

Background

The Metaverse is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in a 1992 science fiction novel Snowfall. Although there is no precise definition of the term, it embodies the idea that the Internet exists as an immersive virtual world, accessible through a combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Facebook is the strongest proponent of the idea that the Metaverse represents the future of the internet, while Apple has adopted a more limited point of view.

Apple’s industrial designers are not convinced that consumers are ready to wear the headsets for a long time.

We recently summarized what we think we know about Apple’s headphone plans so far, while a recent report suggests that Meta is working on a somewhat similar headset called Quest Pro.

The edge obtained a recording of Zuckerberg making the comments at a town hall meeting earlier this month.

Mark Zuckerberg believes that Apple and his company are in a “very deep philosophical competition” to build Metaverse, suggesting that the two technology giants are ready to lead the sale of hardware for the increased and virtual reality.

Meta’s CEO told employees earlier this month that they are competing with Apple to determine “which direction the internet is going.”

He continued:

“It’s a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating, they build a better customer experience. And we believe that there is a lot to do with those terms of specialization of different companies, and [that] will allow a larger ecosystem to exist.

Surprisingly, while the CEO of Meta says that he believes that an open approach will create a larger metaverse ecosystem, he acknowledges that “it was not very clear at the beginning whether an open or closed ecosystem will be better” . He said Windows won the PC battle, while Apple was the top performer in mobile.

Zuckerberg also contrasted the two companies’ approaches to pricing their hardware.

Basically we deliver our devices at cost or with a small subsidy, or significantly less than cost in some cases. But the bottom line is that our business is not primarily taking a premium on devices.

You can read Zuckerberg’s full comments on the upcoming Apple vs. Meta headphone battle below:

I think it is clear that Apple will be a competitor for us, not only as a product, but philosophically. We approach it in an open way and try to build a more open ecosystem. We are trying to make many things interoperable with Android. We are trying to develop the metaverse in a way that you can transport your virtual objects from one world to another. We created the Metaverse Open Standards Group with a lot of the people you just mentioned, and Apple didn’t participate. But I don’t think that’s a surprise. Apple, for several generations of computing today, has been a closed computer vendor.

It’s a competition of philosophies and ideas, where they believe that by doing everything themselves and tightly integrating, they build a better consumer experience. And we believe that there is a lot to do in terms of specialization in different companies, and [that] will allow a larger ecosystem to exist.

One of the things I find interesting is that it is not clear from the beginning whether an open or closed ecosystem would be better. If you look at PCs, Windows obviously has a lot of scale and has become the default standard that people use. And Mac works well, but I think PC and Windows, I think, is the first ecosystem in that environment.

On mobile, I’d say it’s the opposite. There are more Android devices than iOS devices, but I think in developed countries and places like the United States or Western Europe, it’s kind of at the top of the range, [and] a lot of creators and developers in the culture, I think it’s still leaning towards iPhone and iOS. So I would say that in mobile, Apple has really carved a good position for itself, and that is why it is the most valuable company in the world, or maybe one of the two most valuable companies in the world.

But I don’t think the future is written here for the metaverse yet. And I think part of our job is to continue to do cutting-edge research and push that forward at all levels of the stack. We create VR. We did AR. Basically we deliver our devices at cost or with a small subsidy, or slightly above cost in some cases. But the bottom line is that our business is not primarily taking a premium on devices. We want as many people as possible to interact with it. Part of that is making it an open, interoperable ecosystem.

Is our North Star whether we can get a billion people in the metaverse to make hundreds of dollars each in digital commerce by the end of the decade? If we do that, we will create a business as big as our current advertising business this decade. I think it’s something exciting. I think a big part of how you do that is to move the open metaverse forward, which we will.

So yes, Apple will be a competitor. I think that’s pretty clear cut, but it’s actually a serious contender. It is not only [that] they have a tool with more features than we do. It’s a deep philosophical contest over which direction the Internet should go. And I’m proud of the investments we’re making to help move the open metaverse forward and hopefully make the next version of computing even more open.

Photo: Julien Tromeur/Unsplash


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