In an in-depth interview with The Information Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained why Apple, HTC, Valve, HP and other companies might have trouble competing with the tech giant on price in VR and AR.
“I’m pretty inclined to take whatever gains we could get, from things like an app store, and just use that to make the price lower,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg’s comments don’t explicitly name Apple, but in context there’s a high likelihood he’s aiming straight at the Cupertino-based company. Apple’s primary business model seeks profit related to hardware sales and reports today indicate Apple may target $1,000 for its forthcoming mixed reality headset. That same price is mentioned by Zuckerberg in response to a question surrounding what kind of business model Facebook will pursue in VR and AR:
“Probably the business model will largely be around those [social] experiences, kind of the apps we already build, building them and more things. If the app store ends up being meaningful then great. But I think our inclination is probably going to be to try to offer these products at as low of a cost as possible in order to be able to get them out to everyone. So unlike some of the other companies in this space that basically charge premium prices as their business model, one of our core principles is we want to serve everyone. I’m very focused not only on how you create a good VR & AR device, but how do you make it so it’s $300 instead of $1000. I think that’s a pretty big deal.”
Over the last several years Facebook’s VR headsets steadily built out a commanding 58% share of usage on Valve’s Steam storefront by progressively cutting down barriers both in cost and the setup required for an enjoyable experience in VR. These latest comments represent some of the strongest evidence yet that Facebook is only getting started.