(Oh Man!), Seems Like Mark Zuckerberg Didn’t Really Like Apple’s Vision Pro Headset

Zuckerberg addressed Apple’s headset unveiling in a meeting with Meta employees, telling them that Meta's vision was "fundamentally social," while Apple's vision is "not the one I want."

After Apple took the wraps off its most hyped and long-awaited Vision Pro earlier this week at WWDC 2023 event, Mark Zuckerberg came out swinging in response to the Apple Vision Pro this Thursday at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters for its first all-hands meeting.

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem fazed by Apple’s introduction of the Vision Pro. In a company-wide meeting with Meta employees, the CEO said Apple’s device didn’t present any major breakthroughs in technology that Meta hadn’t “already explored” and that its vision for how people will use the device is “not the one that I want.”

Zuckerberg said the Vision Pro has no “magical solutions” that Meta has not thought of, and “costs seven times more” than its recently-announced Quest 3 headset. Met’s upcoming Quest 3 headset will probably be priced at $499 compared to the announced price of Vision Pro, giving Meta the opening to reach a wider user base.

“I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important,” Zuckerberg told employees.

The Meta boss further said that the Quest is about “people interacting in new ways and feeling closer” while also “about being active and doing things.” Zuckerberg continued, “We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible, and that is a core part of what we do. And we have sold tens of millions of Quests.”

A bigger difference between Apple and Meta’s approach to VR and AR is that “our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social,” Zuckerberg said. “By contrast, every demo that Apple showed was a person sitting on a couch by themselves. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but, like, it’s not the one that I want.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s full statement on Apple Vision Pro

Zuckerberg’s full comments, as reported by The Verge:

Apple finally announced their headset, so I want to talk about that for a second. I was really curious to see what they were gonna ship. And obviously I haven't seen it yet, so I'll learn more as we get to play with it and see what happens and how people use it.

From what I've seen initially, I'd say the good news is that there's no kind of magical solutions that they have to any of the constraints on laws and physics that our teams haven't already explored and thought of. They went with a higher resolution display, and between that and all the technology they put in there to power it, it costs seven times more and now requires so much energy that now you need a battery and a wire attached to it to use it. They made that design trade-off and it might make sense for the cases that they're going for.

But look, I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important. We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible, and that is a core part of what we do. And we have sold tens of millions of Quests.

More importantly, our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It's about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it's not the one that I want. There's a real philosophical difference in terms of how we're approaching this. And seeing what they put out there and how they're going to compete just made me even more excited and in a lot of ways optimistic that what we're doing matters and is going to succeed. But it's going to be a fun journey.

Apple Vision Pro Should Make Mark Zuckerberg Nervous, In-fact Worried

Zuckerberg may be breathing easy now, but Meta has certainly been on edge up until Apple’s announcement.

It announced the Quest 3 just days before, even though the device isn’t shipping until the fall.

Meta has been trying to position itself as a leader in the virtual and augmented reality space for a long time, and bleeding billions of dollars a year for the cause. The introduction of Apple’s headset marks a major competitive threat.

Of course, Zuckerberg is going to talk down Apple’s latest creation behind the curtains. Probably, somewhere in the back of his mind, he may be concerned about the latest Apple Vision Pro 2023.

It’s A Tough War (My Friends)

The thing is, if I was the Facebook boss, I’d be pretty nervous about what Apple has just unveiled. Seriously, I would like a cat on a hot tin roof!

The reasoning is simple: Apple is a genius at selling products to customers. It has built up such a level of loyalty among its fan base that even with a $3,499 price tag, there are plenty of people queued up to buy grounded by the fact that Apple has a rock-solid ecosystem lock-in.

Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to inspiring loyalty. Facebook is a data and advertising company and Apple is a devices company; that’s why I fear for Zuckerberg’s future. What will he do if Apple slims down the price of Vision Pro?

I’m Certainly Disturbed Now

Apple wants its Reality headset or now called Vision Pro to undertake about everything and become a fully-features computing device.

Meta, meanwhile, is all-in to revolutionize gaming and social-networking. These two are and will be a monstrous VR/AR headsets for primarily different use cases.

The decision between the two is akin to choosing between the best handheld gaming consoles or one of the best gaming laptops. The latter, obviously, is more capable in all realms.

Even Zuckerberg had to agree to the impressive tech packed inside the Vision Pro, noting Apple went for a “higher resolution display”. But, he called it a “design trade-off” that “might make sense for the cases that they’re going for.”

It’s no surprise that Meta has a head-start in the AR headset arms race, but it still isn’t sure if it would capture the interests of early adopters or translate to mass adoption.

If Apple succeeds on capturing its audience at the moment, this is going to be a tough war. Users may sway away from the Meta Quest Pro device to a more expensive and capable Apple Vision Pro AR headset.

I also don’t think the consumers are going to pick up multiple headsets the way they do with other electronic devices like laptops and phones. Like, how is someone going to switch to a game on their Meta Quest 3 while he’s strapped into the Vision Pro. It’s so much of a hassle to simultaneously do other stuff.

When I image myself as Meta boss (Yeah, bear with me for a moment), I would be troubled and worrisome. The reason is simple. The world has not been used to these VR things – like, who wears HoloLens and Google Glass in their everyday work ethic.

The disturbing part here is that people also might not like Vision Pro. But, see, Apple has a history of disrupting the market sectors it chooses to enter into. If Apple succeeds, it will be a massive change in the VR landscape.

Meta will similarly take off at the same time, and the war will be legitimate. However, at the moment, we can’t write Meta off or simply wean it off simply because Meta has not fully developed its Metaverse. We should note that Meta has sold “tens of millions of Quests”. So, there is still a big chunk of user base that Quest can attract.

We can already see that Quest 3 is the next-generation mixed reality headset. It’s 40% slimmer and more comfortable design, a higher-resolution display and up to twice the graphics performance as the Quest 2. With 128 GB of storage, the company plans to launch the headset later this year.

Apple said the Vision Pro will be available in the U.S. in early 2024. The 2023 WWDC event showcased a spectacular 23 million pixels across both displays. Each Micro OLED display in the Vision Pro has a pixel density of roughly 3400 PPI.

It is reported that the display resolution for each display is “approximately 3800 x 3000” (h/t FlatpanelsHD). This makes Apple Vision Pro 2023 more crispier. For example, Apple promised “more pixels than a 4K TV for each eye” in its twin Micro OLED displays.

Meta has found early success in VR gaming and fitness. But, it has strangled trying to reach the higher end of virtual market that Apple is going after, with last year’s Quest Pro being seen as a flop.

Joe Warne
Joe Warne
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