Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman shed light on Apple’s approach to the so-called “metaverse”, making it clear the company’s upcoming headset is expected to focus on “bursts” of gaming, content consumption and communication above all else.
The information was dropped in the paid edition of Gurman’s Apple and consumer tech newsletter for Bloomberg, Power On. The newsletter includes a section for Q&A with Gurman, which led to one reader sending in a question about the metaverse and how Apple will approach it.
Gurman posted his full response on his Twitter account for those who aren’t paid subscribers. Gurman has a long track record reporting accurately on Apple, so there’s a pretty substantial takeaway here that the company’s leadership doesn’t seem to be interested in a “metaverse” akin to the groundwork being laid in efforts like Meta’s Horizon Worlds. Gurman goes as far as to suggest the idea of a “completely virtual world where users can escape to” is “off limits from Apple.”
Gurman suggests Apple is focusing on making a headset designed for short-burst use, not all day, with a focus on “gaming, communication and content consumption.” An eventual fully augmented reality headset is supposedly Apple’s “real priority.” Gurman’s analysis is in line with public comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook over the years. You can read a useful collection of comments Cook has made put together by The Verge, including “a significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day, it will become that much a part of you…VR I think is not going to be that big, compared to AR. I’m not saying it’s not important, it is important.”
Here’s a copy of Gurman’s response that he posted to Twitter:
Q: Do you think the Apple headset will be a full metaverse play? Or just focus on core AR and VR?
A: Here’s one word I’d be shocked to hear on stage when Apple announces its headset: metaverse. I’ve been told pretty directly that the idea of a completely virtual world where users can escape to – like they can in Meta Platforms/Facebook’s vision of the future – is off limits from Apple. Executives today at the highest levels of the company, and in the past like Jony Ive, have pushed for the virtual reality headset to not be an all-day device, and instead one that can be used for bursts of gaming, communication and content consumption. The augmented reality headset is Apple’s real priority because it can be worn all day and, naturally, not take anyone out of their real environment.
You can read more about Apple’s unannounced headset, potentially launching later this year, here.