Days of bombastic news welcomed the presentation of Vision Pro, Apple’s latest creature, the device for the virtual world that will be on the market starting from 2024 in the United States at a cost of just under $3,500. Praise has come from many sides to the Apple viewer, but there is someone in the tech community who has not spared criticism, even venomous ones. Elon Musk’s lunge, deliberately without words but condensed into two images with a short caption, is undoubtedly the most direct and compares Apple’s new jewel with a product to access in a post published on his Twitter profile to augmented reality much cheaper ($20). Instead, Mark Zuckerberg was softer and more diplomatic in commenting on the Cupertino announcement. During a video interview with content creator Lex Fridman, the CEO of Meta first expressed his admiration for Apple’s product, even defining the possibility of “replacing the laptop with a viewer” as “great”, and then decisively threw water at his mill praising the qualities of the Quest 3, describing it as “the best product on the market” and emphasizing its price (the device will be available from the autumn starting at 499 dollars) which will make it attractive to many potential users.
An elegant jab against colleague Tim Cook? In fact it is, because the battle on the virtual and augmented reality front (like that on artificial intelligence) sees the two companies very heavily involved (even economically) and it is normal that it also fuels a war of declarations. Apple, as someone rightly recalls, has been working on its viewer for several years while Facebook has spent (in 2014) over two billion dollars to acquire Oculus and on the latter’s technologies has begun to build its own ecosystem aiming (with the rebranding of Meta) on the new horizons of the Metaverse. And in recounting his vision of the digital society to come, Zuckerberg clearly pointed out the substantial difference between his company and that of Cook. “They have always been focused on building high-end, expensive products, but we are moved by a more democratic ethos, we want to offer accessible experiences to many people and for this we have sold tens of millions of Quest devices”. In short, according to the CEO of Meta, the price of the Vision Pro is anything but an innovation that democratizes technology. And this is also the meaning of Elon Musk’s Tweet.
Apple doesn’t innovate more than Meta
In the presence of his employees gathered in the Menlo Park headquarters, as reported by an article published by The Verge, Zuckerberg slightly sharpened his shot, showing himself sure that the Vision Pro will not pose a threat to Meta’s business opportunities. The new Apple product, this is the essence of Zuck’s reflection, “is the future vision of the user experience of these Apple devices, but it’s not what I want”. In more blunt words, according to the founder of Facebook, the Apple device would not present “any technological innovation that Meta has not already explored” and, above all, it reflects a marked difference of views and philosophy in terms of approach. In short, according to Zuckerberg, Apple would favor a very individual experience of virtual reality while Meta’s values and vision look to new ways to make people interact, make them feel closer and make them active by stimulating them to do things. Dialectical warfare, it was said, because the stakes are high and the risk of going astray is equally high. Who will win is hard to say but, as Zuck says, “it’s sure to be a fun ride.”