With upcoming headsets, Apple and Meta may soon compete in mixed reality space

With upcoming headsets, Apple and Meta may soon compete in mixed reality space

A new report sheds light on the ongoing projects by Apple and the recently rebranded Meta. The observations reveal that the two companies might soon compete head-to-head in the mixed reality space as well as other segments.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image: Reuters) Apple CEO Tim Cook (Image: Reuters)
Story highlights
  • Apple is expected to come out with its first-ever mixed reality headset by next year.
  • Meta is also working on a similar device, building on its existing products under the Reality Labs branding.
  • It is likely that the companies will also compete in the smart wearables and smart speakers space.

With its Meta rebranding, Facebook may be headed towards a direct clash with Apple in several verticals. A new report highlights the ongoing projects within both companies and how these might lead to an eventual competition between the two technology giants.

Apple and Facebook have not seen eye-to-eye till now, often publicly expressing their disagreement with the other's policies. This rivalry could take a new shape in the time to come, as both firms are now working on smart products for homes and for capabilities around augmented reality. The work in progress has been highlighted in Bloomberg's latest "Power On" newsletter by Mark Gurman.

In his newsletter, Gurman predicts that the competition between Apple and Meta will only increase in the time to come. He writes that both companies are working on their own AR devices, smartwatches as well as smart devices for homes. While both Apple and Meta are yet to make a mark in these spaces with their products, Gurman clears that the intent on both sides to capture these markets is now stronger than ever.

Citing an example, Gurman mentions that Meta is working on a mixed-reality headset right now, which is called Project Cambria. Simultaneously, Apple is also developing an advanced mixed-reality visor, speculations around which have often been floated in the earlier newsletters by Gurman. It is expected that Meta's headset will be for the masses, while Apple will price its own device at a much higher cost and will likely launch it by next year.

Other than the mixed reality headsets, Meta may also clash with Apple in the smartwatch segment. As pointed out by Apple Insider, Gurman notes that Meta is possibly pursuing its own lineup of smartwatches that could come with features around health and communication.

Other than the products to come, Meta is already in competition with Apple in the smart devices segment for homes. The company has its own lineup of video calling devices under the Portal brand. The latest products in the series are the Portal+ and Portal Go, launched in September this year. In essence, the devices offer services much similar to Apple's HomePod and HomeKit, undermining what Apple could do with these in the time to come.

However, as per Gurman, Apple will soon ramp up its offerings in this space with new products. Gurman hints that Apple is already working on a set-top box with a built-in speaker, as well as a video-calling device similar to the Portal.

It is thus clear that both Meta and Apple are targeting the same segments and will eventually compete in the product market of these spaces. Who will have the upper hand is yet to be seen.