Apple said to have ruled out a metaverse for its mixed reality headset

Apple and Meta could have very different approaches to virtual worlds.

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An Apple employee helps a member of the media try on an HTC Vive while testing the virtual reality capabilities of the new iMac during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California on June 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Josh Edelson        (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Don't expect Apple to follow others into the metaverse. According to the latest newsletter from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has rejected the idea of a metaverse (in this case, an all-virtual world) for its long-rumored mixed reality headset. The very idea is "off limits," Gurman's sources claimed. The focus would be on short stints of communication, content viewing and gaming.

Past rumors have hinted headset could debut as soon as this year, although its specs and target audience aren't certain. Early scoops suggested it might have a resolution of 8K per eye, over a dozen "inside out" tracking cameras and a developer focus that included a $3,000 price. Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested the headset would 'only' use 4K displays and six to eight cameras, however, hinting at a more affordable device.

If the claim is true, Apple's approach to mixed reality would be very different than that of its rival Meta. Where Meta has shifted its AR and VR strategies toward the metaverse, Apple appears determined to avoid it. Whether or not that strategy could work is another matter. Apple's reported strategy could pay off if metaverses struggle, and might thwart Meta's plans by limiting overall interest in virtual worlds. If metaverses do succeed, though, Apple could miss out and find itself supporting others' VR environments.

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Apple said to have ruled out a metaverse for its mixed reality headset