So as to avoid talking about the huge potential, Apple finally said “really fragrant” to the Metaverse

Apple’s change, or means that Apple glasses are coming.

After Microsoft and Tesla released their financial reports, another top ten listed company in the world handed over its own answer sheet. In the early morning of January 28, Beijing time, Apple released its first-quarter results for fiscal 2022 ending in December 2021. It shows that Apple’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021 was US$123.95 billion, an increase of 11% year-on-year, and its net profit reached US$34.63 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20.43%.

Obviously, Apple’s various indicators in the financial report easily exceeded market expectations, from the iPhone to wearables to services, all of which have hit record highs for the company in a single quarter, so that its stock price briefly fell in after-hours trading. up more than 4%. In addition to bringing such excellent earnings data, Apple CEO Tim Cook’s remarks in the earnings conference call also attracted a lot of attention from the outside world. He said that the company saw “great potential” from the Metaverse, which is related to the current of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects are linked and “investing accordingly” is being made.

But what you need to know is that last year Cook’s attitude towards the Metaverse was completely different. Not only did he not “preach” for it like Zuckerberg, but he could be said to be “ignoring” this new concept. Cook told TIME last September that he was also excited about what AR and AR could bring, but when asked about “this is the Metaverse,” he said it was markedly different. word, and will move away from buzzwords and prefer to call it augmented reality.

So as to avoid talking about the huge potential, Apple finally said "really fragrant" to the Metaverse

At the beginning of this year, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman revealed in the “Power On” newsletter that the concept of “Metaverse” is a “taboo topic” within Apple, and “I was told very directly that users can escape to a complete The idea of ​​virtual worlds, as they did in Meta’s (ex-Facebook) vision of the future, is something Apple has banned.” In fact, prior to this earnings call, Apple may have been the only tech giant that had remained tight-lipped about the Metaverse.

From the fact that we don’t use the word Metaverse and just call it AR, to never mention the concept of “Metaverse” internally, to seeing the huge potential now, Apple has almost perfectly explained what “true fragrance” is. So why does Apple’s attitude towards the Metaverse usher in a 180° turn? Some people believe that the most direct reason for its indifferent attitude towards the Metaverse may be that the existing business system is almost completely inconsistent with the concept of the Metaverse in general, and it is even said that the Metaverse may be more of a “life-threatening reminder” of the current system. symbol”.

After several years of hard work, Apple now has 785 million paying users, but the hardware business is still the most important part of its revenue, and in addition to Apple TV+, its content is basically from the A wide range of third-party developers. This system is based on a closed ecosystem with iOS as the core, and is based on the mobile Internet, but the Metaverse is considered to be the “successor” of the existing Internet world, which is to subvert the existing order.

The Metaverse is now widely regarded as a virtual world that can be seen, touched, and sensed, a “dematerialization” of real space. Judging from the current level of hardware development, the Metaverse’s high real-time, high interactivity and high immersion requirements still lack technical support, and the realization of the Metaverse relies on 3D engine technology, artificial intelligence technology, and basic A breakthrough in communication networks. In this way, Apple almost only has an artificial intelligence in the underlying technology, and there is no hardware entrance and basically no content.

So as to avoid talking about the huge potential, Apple finally said "really fragrant" to the Metaverse

In addition, in theory, a major feature of the Metaverse is “decentralization”, which is a decentralized user-autonomous virtual cyberspace, while Apple’s “walled garden” model is a typical centralized ecology, with Apple leading the way. Everything about this ecosystem is clearly incompatible.

Of course, there are also views that the most important reason for Apple’s indifference to the Metaverse is that the company’s philosophy does not fit the Metaverse itself. It is not difficult to see from Apple’s ARKit project that various AR applications with productivity and education as the main functions represent Apple’s hope that AR will be used more in the real world, so that developers can use augmented reality technology to serve users’ needs. real life.

Apple’s philosophy has always been to hope that its products are only tools for users, a part of daily life, not all, and do not want users to spend their time on iPhones, iPads and other devices, so that in iOS12 Screen time management has been introduced to keep users from becoming addicted to their devices. But the Metaverse is to create a highly realistic virtual world outside the real world, and hope that users will be immersed in it.

So as to avoid talking about the huge potential, Apple finally said "really fragrant" to the Metaverse

But now the potential of the mobile Internet represented by smartphones has basically been realized, and there is no room for imagination. As an enterprise engaged in innovative business, Apple naturally needs to keep up with the trend of the times. Therefore, Apple’s change in attitude towards the Metaverse is very likely to be closely related to the AR headset it is developing, or to pave the way for it.

It is understood that in 2021 alone, Apple will have 11 patented technologies related to AR devices, which is equivalent to one-ninth of the patented technologies it has obtained throughout the year. At the same time, at the end of last year, Apple also hired Andre Schubert, the former head of external communication for the AR project at Meta, so it was also considered by the outside world to be preparing for the long-rumored “Apple glasses”.

If the iPhone is the representative of Apple’s previous era, then AR equipment may be Apple’s epoch-making product in the next decade. And no matter how the concept of the Metaverse changes, AR/VR devices are already recognized as hardware entrances, just like smartphones are to the mobile Internet.

So as to avoid talking about the huge potential, Apple finally said "really fragrant" to the Metaverse

Although the Metaverse cannot be built overnight, the hardware entrance obviously cannot be bypassed anyway. In the current market situation, when Google’s Google Glass failed early and Microsoft’s HoloLens was mainly aimed at the enterprise market, consumer-grade AR devices hardly existed. Correspondingly, in consumer VR devices, there are Meta’s Quest, Sony’s PS VR, HTC’s VIVE, and Valve’s Index. Therefore, it is not difficult to find that the current consumer-grade personal AR hardware is basically blank.

With Apple’s brand influence and ability to build products, once Apple glasses come out, it is obviously not difficult to replicate the success of Meta on Quest 2, which means that at least in the competition of hardware entry, Apple is very likely to at least compete with Meta. on the same starting line. And through Apple’s efforts in recent years, from the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, LiDAR sensor LiDAR, UWB chip, and the ARKit project accumulated tens of thousands of AR applications and a large number of developers, which replicated the iPhone 4 on the AR head display device. The story may not be difficult.

After the iPhone and the App Store have established Apple’s current market value of 2.6 trillion US dollars, the future Apple glasses and the matching application store may be Apple’s ticket, so of course Apple will have more of the Metaverse. of interest.

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