Apple, the world’s largest company by market capitalization, has teased plans for an entrance to the Metaverse as virtual and augmented reality continues to gain traction.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook hinted at the firm’s Metaverse ambitions on Jan 27, talking up the expansion of its augmented reality apps.
In response to a question regarding the Metaverse, Cook said “We see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly.” Apple has 14,000 augmented reality apps on its App Store, and this may increase with further investment, he added.
The company has plans to introduce an AR headset and glasses in the next year or so according to Reuters. The comments counter previous reports that Apple was not focusing on Metaverse-related projects yet.
Into the Appleverse
The potential Metaverse move follows the likes of Facebook, now called Meta, which has made aggressive changes as it pursues these virtual reality ambitions.
Cook also said that Apple’s research and development efforts are focused on the “intersection of hardware, software, and services,” adding “that’s where the magic really happens,”
“There’s quite a bit of investment going into things that are not on the market at this point.”
Apply has always been very secretive about its products and development in an effort to stir up the hype before any official announcements or releases. It has often been described as the greatest marketing company in the world.
The report added that the tech giant’s services revenue increased by 24% to $19.5 billion last quarter topping analyst estimates of $18.6 billion. It now has 785 million subscribers to its paid services such as music streaming and gaming. A Metaverse project would be the next logical step for the firm to lock in more subscribers to its ecosystem.
According to Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah, Metaverse-related services such as AR apps, could “flip Apple’s revenue mix.”
It’s highly likely that any Apple Metaverse project would be a centralized and closed system, controlled entirely by the company as its software and products are. It is also very unlikely that it would link to or be connected with any existing decentralized Metavereses or digital assets.
Apple stock and profits up
The company’s stock price enjoyed a boost on Cook’s teasers, climbing 5.7% in after-hours trading to $167. However, AAPL shares have slid 8.2% since the beginning of the year as stock markets retreat from previous highs.
Apple’s profit hit nearly $35 billion for the holiday season quarter just past, with record revenue coming from iPhone sales.
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