Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t want to talk about the Metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn't want to talk about the Metaverse

Image: Apple

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Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to discuss virtual reality and augmented reality in a way that hints at Apple’s imminent entry into the market. However, this has been the case for years.

Augmented reality is a “deep technology that will affect everything,” Cook said in a recent interview. Life without AR will soon be unimaginable; it “will not be long now”.

These are pretty much the exact phrases Cook has been pulling out of his rhetoric drawer for years when journalists ask about Apple’s augmented reality projects. Cook had already said at the end of 2018 that life without AR would “soon” be unimaginable.

So far, however, Apple has limited itself to simple AR apps with the smartphone, which cannot live up to 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 of the term metaverse. He says it’s important for people to understand exactly what a term means. “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 inside source, that the M-word is taboo at Apple. Customers shouldn’t feel like they can use an Apple headset to isolate themselves in virtual worlds. The device is designed for intermediate use.

Cook’s current statements confirm this attitude: Virtual reality is very immersive and can be used in a positive way, says Cook. But you wouldn’t want to live there.

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“VR is for regular periods, but not a way to communicate well. So I’m not against it, but that’s how I see 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 are on the rise

Apple’s next 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 clear glass . On the marketing side, Apple will probably bet on augmented reality.

Bytedance company Pico (Pico 4 Pro), Meta (Quest Pro) and Lenovo will also launch such devices in the coming weeks. Companies want to anchor XR headsets with AR video mode more firmly in the world of work and in everyday office life, for example for virtual screens. However, Apple could have a clear advantage thanks to the existing desktop application ecosystem for software and hardware.

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