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The rivalry between Meta and Apple enters virtual reality – São Bento em Foco

The rivalry between Meta and Apple enters virtual reality – São Bento em Foco

It seems that every new era of consumer technology is shaped by blistering discounts. Apple’s competition with Microsoft (MSFT) It was fundamental to the era of personal computing. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs declared a “thermonuclear war” against Google over smartphones. Now Apple and Meta can establish the defining rivalry of the VR/AR era.

The relationship between the two companies was tense even before Apple entered the market. They competed over news and messaging features, and CEOs traded blows over data privacy and App Store policies. In February last year, Metta He said which projected a US$10 billion (about R$48 billion) loss in 2022 due to Apple’s move to limit how apps like Facebook collect data for targeted ads.

But the rivalry seems ready to reach a new level.

Meta has so far been the dominant player in the headphone market. However, virtual and augmented reality is still an emerging market with little consumer adoption. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Meta only had 200,000 active users on Horizon Worlds, its social networking VR app. Moreover, in the year 2023, the American consulting firm IDC Appreciation That 10.1 million VR and AR headsets will ship globally out of the entire market, which falls far short of the tens of millions of iPhones Apple sells each quarter.

Morgan Stanley analysts called Apple’s Vision Pro a “shooting project” after it was announced Monday. They say the product “has the potential to become Apple’s next computing platform” but that the company has “a lot to prove” before launching the headset next year.

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“We’re always excited when more people join us to build the future,” Shiva Slovan, a unit spokeswoman for Meta Reality Labs, said in a statement. CNN.

Uncertain market

Apple and Meta could end up in a race to see not only who can get consumers to choose their products, but whether any one of them can get millions of customers to embrace this new wave of technology.

Apple seems to have the upper hand in several aspects, with its very loyal customer base Two billion devicesGreat hardware and access to hundreds of stores where consumers can try it out.

Image of Apple’s new augmented reality technology / disclosure / Apple

“To this day, all of this feels pre-game, building up to the moment when Apple takes the product into the public consciousness and lets people know that these technologies are real, and that they’re not just a gimmick,” said Eric Alexander, founder of virtual reality music experience app Soundscape. .

It also appears that the iPhone maker is marketing its devices differently. Apple chose not to focus on the term “virtual reality,” nor did it feature legless avatars living in a virtual world, as the early Meta did. Instead, Apple has enhanced the headset’s ability to more seamlessly integrate with users’ lives in the real world through augmented reality, a technology that can overlay virtual objects on live video of the real world.

“I don’t think Apple sees itself competing with Meta,” said Julie Ask, principal analyst at US research and advisory firm Forrester. Zuckerberg is betting that “everything is in the virtual world, and that’s not what Apple is about. Apple says it doesn’t think people want to disconnect from the real world, and that it wants to improve the world where consumers are.”

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The Quest 3 headset that the Meta announced last week is also a mixed reality headset with augmented reality capabilities, so it seems likely that the Meta may approximate Apple’s approach in the future. However, there is an explanatory video posted by Zuckerberg Instagram It seems to indicate that the device is still very focused on gaming.

Many analysts say the biggest hurdle to adopting mixed reality headsets is ensuring that there is a wide range of potential uses and experiences available from the devices.

Although the Meta has introduced features that allow users to play games, explore virtual worlds, watch YouTube videos, exercise, chat with friends, and more, it hasn’t convinced most consumers that the device is worth it.

Apple’s announcement at WWDC appears to be aimed at ensuring that the large base of developers in its ecosystem helps create compelling new experiences for the device ahead of its launch.

For Alexander, developing new AR and VR applications requires a significant investment, not to mention hands-on time, so it may be some time before a full suite of experiences are available for Vision Pro. The lack of controllers and other accessories can also make it difficult to create certain types of applications, such as games, for the new device.

However, at Monday’s event, Apple showed off Disney features like Disney+ and game company Unity that will be available on the device from the start, in addition to the iPhone maker’s existing suite of services.

Apple’s Vision One “is not a device I would buy and then think about what I should buy,” said expert Forrester Ask. “It’s a device with a very easy-to-use interface, and a place to watch my Apple TV and my movies and stuff. It’s not something you buy and then don’t know what it’s for.”

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Tom Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson, compared the launch of the Vision Pro to the introduction of the iPhone after BlackBerry, an unfavorable comparison that would make Zuckerberg blush. But he noted that the Meta handset seems less likely to fade into irrelevance the way BlackBerry did.

“BlackBerry has proven that there is a market for smartphones and has built dominance, but it hasn’t made apps,” Forte recalls, adding that the iPhone introduced the idea of ​​having a variety of different use cases for the device. “In some ways it’s similar to the iPhone where we’ll need to see the ecosystem evolve over time for this to be successful.”

But, if Apple succeeds in driving widespread adoption of mixed reality headsets, the Meta could still benefit from the stretch, being the choice because of the price, according to the same analyst.

Incidentally, Meta stock rose slightly on Tuesday after Apple’s announcement.

This content was originally published The rivalry between Meta and Apple is entering virtual reality On site CNN Brazil.

source: CNN Brazil