Meta Is in a 'Very Deep, Philosophical Competition' With Apple Over the Metaverse, Says Mark Zuckerberg

Meta is in a "very deep, philosophical competition" with Apple over the future of technology and the metaverse, the social network's CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees in an internal meeting last month, reported by The Verge.

tim cook mark zuckerberg
It's no secret Meta and Apple have been competitors for several years, with the rivalry ramping up in recent years over privacy and the different approaches to user tracking. The competition is expected to heat up as both companies take seemingly different approaches to the "metaverse" and AR/VR. While Meta has begun its journey into the "metaverse," revealing its vision for the future of the internet and releasing accompanying VR headsets, Apple has yet to make a big entrance into the AR/VR space.

That is all set to change, however, as Apple is nearing the launch of its first AR/VR headset for early next year. Responding to a question from an employee over how Apple's launch of an AR/VR headset could impact Meta's plan, Zuckerberg responded by saying it's "pretty clear that Apple is going to be a competitor for us." Zuckerberg continued, saying the competition will go beyond simply offering the best AR/VR hardware and will also play out "philosophically."

I think it's pretty clear that Apple is going to be a competitor for us, not just as a product but philosophically. We're approaching this in an open way and trying to build a more open ecosystem. We're trying to make more stuff interoperable with Android. We're trying to develop the metaverse in a way where you can bring your virtual goods from one world to another. We created the Metaverse Open Standards Group with a bunch of other folks that you just mentioned, and Apple didn't join.

This is a competition of "ideas," Zuckerberg went on to claim in the June 30 meeting. Apple believes in "doing everything themselves and tightly integrating that to build a better consumer experience," he said. On the other hand, Meta sees the need for a "larger ecosystem to exist."

Zuckerberg admits, however, that it's unclear whether a "closed ecosystem," which he claims Apple to have, or an open ecosystem from Meta, would be better suited for the metaverse.

One of the things I think is interesting is that it's not really clear upfront whether an open or closed ecosystem is going to be better. If you look back to PCs, Windows was clearly the one that had a lot more scale and became the default and norm that people used. And Mac did fine, but I think PC and Windows were, I think, the premier ecosystem in that environment.

On mobile, I would say it's more the other way. There's more Android devices than there are iOS devices, but I think in developed countries and places like the US or Western Europe in kind of the high end, [and] a lot of the culture-setters and developers, I do think that skews quite a bit more towards iPhone and iOS. So I'd say on mobile, Apple has really carved out quite a good position for themselves, and that's why they're the most valuable company in the world, or maybe one of the couple most valuable companies in the world.

Zuckerberg said that Meta's north star should be, and is, whether it will be able to get over a billion people into the metaverse, shopping and spending hundreds of dollars in digital commerce.

Our north star is can we get a billion people into the metaverse doing hundreds of dollars a piece in digital commerce by the end of the decade? If we do that, we'll build a business that is as big as our current ad business within this decade. I think that's a really exciting thing. I think a big part of how you do that is by pushing the open metaverse forward, which is what we're going to do.

Wrapping up his response to the question, Zuckerberg summed up Meta's competition with Apple as going beyond simply the metaverse but also the future of the internet as a whole.

So yeah, Apple is going to be a competitor. I think that that's pretty clear, but it's actually a very deep competitor. It's not just [that] they have a device that has some more features than us. It's a very deep, philosophical competition about what direction the internet should go in. And I am proud of the investments that we're making to help push forward the open metaverse on this and hopefully make the next version of computing a bit more open.

You can learn more about Apple's AR/VR plans by visiting our comprehensive roundup.

Top Rated Comments

Samplasion Avatar
22 months ago
I hate Facebook/Meta and how they keep on babbling about this vr game riddled with microtransactions and NFTs they call the "metaverse"
Score: 86 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hermes Monster Avatar
22 months ago

Before Zuckerberg came along I was a perfectly content man, enjoying my life and not experiencing any kind of FOMO. Nothing has been the same since 2007 for me.
It’s not overstaying it to say that social
media, and FB especially, have irreversibly changed the world for the worse.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antonrg Avatar
22 months ago
Deleted facebook a while back, NOT interested in all this Meta/NFT/AR/VR stuff. Nature and real life are far more interesting. Thank you
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calstanford Avatar
22 months ago
The thing is Apple and Facebook aren't even competitors. One is a hardware company with software and services on top. The other is a pure internet social networking company (Facebook with feed, instagram for pictures and copying others (tik tok, Snap) and Whatsapp/Messenger for messaging in EU/Asia and US).
Facebook's services run on top of Apple, not in competition with.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
22 months ago
I am too old for all this Metaverse stuff. I dont get it. Why would i want to "walk" into a virtual "supermarket" instead of just chilling on my couch and click the "buy now" button on a webpage in front of me OR go to an actual store!

From what I have seen, the graphics also look pretty crap. Randomly saw a clip of some "virtual concert" of a KPop Group and it was super glitchy and badly rendered (is that a word?)

Or this, it is giving me Nintendo 64 vibes:



Attachment Image
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StellarVixen Avatar
22 months ago
I think question of open or closed source isn’t the most important one, the bigger philosophical question is what Meta is trying to make of the virtual reality and what Apple is.

Meta’s vision is disturbing to say the least. I think Apple wants to create AR/VR more as an addition to reality, not virtual world separate from reality for people to be voluntarily imprisoned in.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
M3 iPad Feature 3

Apple Event for New iPads Still Considered 'Unlikely' Following Delays

Tuesday April 9, 2024 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is "unlikely" to hold an event to announce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, according to sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman already said Apple was not planning to hold an event for the new iPads, but he made this claim back in early March, before it was reported that the devices were postponed due to manufacturing delays. With the...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...