Apple, Metaverse, Ming-Chi Kuo, blah blah blah

From Adario Strange’s “Facebook planted the idea of the metaverse but Apple can actually populate it” posted Monday on Quartz:

Social media users and the business world now have a general idea of what the metaverse is, thanks to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s year-long seeding of the term on investor calls and subsequent renaming of Facebook to Meta.  Companies as varied as Disney, Bumble, Tencent, the Warner Music Group and others have followed Zuckerberg’s lead by using “metaverse” as a strategic talking point when discussing an internet based on virtual objects and avatars in the coming years.

But while Meta may have nearly a decade head start on commercializing virtual reality (VR) via its Oculus line of headsets and software, as well as deep research in the realm of augmented reality (AR), its active user base for its metaverse is still relatively small, at less than 10 million users…

Among the Big Tech leaders with the ability to truly mainstream the metaverse, Apple stands out based on its track record of ushering skeptical consumers into new ways of computing. The most recent signal that Apple is poised to lead the move into the metaverse comes from Apple-focused analyst Mind-Chi Kuo, who says that Apple will unveil its own AR wearable toward the end of next year…

If what Apple has in the works is a meaningful upgrade on what Snap and others have achieved, it may deliver on what Kuo says is Apple’s plan: To “replace the iPhone with AR in ten years.”

My take: Day-old bread packaged with too many “ifs” and “mays,“ as they say, to be considered likely.

14 Comments

  1. Tommo_UK said:
    Don’t worry about Ming-Chi .. in 10 years time he’ll have been replaced with an AI chatbot… unless he already has been?

    “ blah blah blah” – love it.

    3
    November 30, 2021
  2. Edward Castronova wrote the definitive treatise on artificial realities, computer games and even metaverses, in 2005. Entitled “Synthetic Worlds,” it covers every aspect of VR, computer games and the impact on society, good and bad. Ted is a professor at Indiana University. If your local library does not have a copy of “Synthetic Worlds,” it needs to order one. Among many topics including AI, the economics and social aspects of VR, Castronova discusses the topic of cyberbole or careless predicting. A VR revolution was expected to occur in the 1990s, it turned out to be a fad. Zuckerberg throws billions at his new VR world hoping children follow him in while the Pied Piper only played a song on his flute. Both are fairy tales.

    5
    November 30, 2021
    • Greg Lippert said:
      Pied Piper.
      Silicon Valley reference. Funny show!

      1
      November 30, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    First mover disadvantage.

    3
    November 30, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      First mover disadvantage.

      Right. There is no road map, ergo, they don’t know where they’re going, and make to many wrong turns.

      Not being concerned about being first to market, Apple has the luxury of cash flow that supports many years of R&D, while the need takes shape. Then it strikes.

      3
      November 30, 2021
      • Bart Yee said:
        @Gregg great points but your roadmap analogy is most astute. When everyone tries to introduce new tech or new paradigms, first movers want to be there first in a bid to set the rules, have little competition, and define the map. Rarely does this work out the way they want it to. Absence a larger collective industry push to standards or agreements, first movers never get it completely right, plus competitors can identify areas vulnerabilities and of innovation, and begin their chase. The map is wide open, uncharted, and even the destination is a pretty hazy target obscured by hills and valleys with many dead ends.

        All of the above is seen from the makers / creators point of view. Who sees where the end users see it? Who makes the case for how the tech is used? And who goes about growing that interest and demand with software and apps or builds a programming system and ecosystem to support real user (and useful) needs and interests?

        That is why Apple’s long term R&D, creating and refining the ideas, the uses, the hardware, the software, etc. develops solutions but product introductions are held until roadmaps becomes clearer. Then the R&D becomes more focused, the uses are written for, and the ecosystem is established. While others blaze the trails, Apple follows, gathering GPS data about where the next destination lies ahead and which roads make the best sense. Not the fastest, not the shortest, never the easiest oaths are taken, and surely never the ones outsiders say Apple should take. Instead, thought out and prepared for disruption is where Apple excels. Once they have the target acquired, Apple hones in with as much accuracy as they have. The target continues to move but Apple sets up its own roadmaps that not only hits the target but is also able to identify further down the road 3-5 years where targets can be. That is when Apple overtakes the market and leaves most others behind.

        4
        November 30, 2021
        • Gregg Thurman said:
          Thank you Bart. Yours is a well written expansion of what I was trying to say.

          It reminds me of all the products others have said Apple should develop, because the PC people were doing it.

          1
          November 30, 2021
        • Kirk DeBernardi said:
          @ Bart Yee —

          Great observation and comment. Bravo.

          1
          November 30, 2021
      • Fred Stein said:
        Yup. Love that word, luxury.

        Naive people equate Apple products to luxury or even veblen.

        The big luxury is Apple’s financial and mental fortitude to wait till its right, where ‘right’ applies to anything. As consumers and investors, we enjoy that luxury indirectly, as in “safe choice”.

        0
        November 30, 2021
  4. Tommo_UK said:
    Remember the iPod amidst a sea of MP3 players. It was not the first by a long shot. It was the most expensive, by far and “doomed.”

    It put everyone else out of business and led to the iPhone. Bye bye Motorola Blackberry and Nokia within years.

    Thanks Facebook, for showing how not to do VR/AR. Apple is a quick study, but takes its time to position itself. Bye bye Meta.

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    November 30, 2021
  5. Fred Stein said:
    Apple already wins.

    Regardless of Meta’s fate, content developers will buy these high-end M1 systems. Apple earns a profit on them, vs Meta selling their hw at cost.

    Also most immersive content will be viewed on flat screens that are NOT intrusive. VR is just one, niche, form of immersive content. Apple already has a phenomenal immersive content viewing franchise.

    0
    November 30, 2021
  6. bas flik said:
    VR is difficult market. The human body does not like it. Most of the times it results in headache and nausea. Like 3D movies often hyped but never delivered.

    8
    November 30, 2021
  7. David Emery said:
    As a side comment, I tried the Oculus VR headset today in my Roman Architecture course. We were looking at a 3D model of an Etruscan temple. I was impressed with how well it worked. But coming home, I noticed a lot of ‘dazzle’ on my eyes. I was glad I wasn’t driving at night. (And I wonder if my coke-bottom lenses made a difference with the headset and the associated dazzle…)

    0
    November 30, 2021
  8. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    An appliance on your face to help make this new reality really swing?

    A very delicate proposition.

    Consider. Might this anybody’s-guess, new-promise, tech-smashup of the next big thing arrive at a time that we might naturally and organically yearn to get back to the real of life and humanness instead of some soulless stand-in semblance of it?

    VR stands too far away from RR — Real Reality.

    We. Shall. See.

    1
    November 30, 2021

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