Facebook Inc., or Meta Platforms’, foray into smartwatches, wearables, and mixed reality headsets is setting up the stage for a major clash with Apple Inc., as per Mark Gurman, an expert on the Tim Cook-led company.
In the latest edition of his newsletter, the award-winning journalist pointed to a number of upcoming products which are set to compete with existing and upcoming Apple products from the Instagram parent, recently renamed as Meta.
“All this adds fuel to Apple’s feud with Meta,” wrote Gurman. “Between the Meta watch and dueling headsets—as well as the war of words around privacy and app-store policies between Cook and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg—the clash between the companies could be a major tech story of 2022.”
Why It Matters
The expert pointed to a recent leak of Meta’s unreleased smartwatch rendering and observed it had a feature that the current iterations of Apple Watch do not offer—a front-facing camera.
“I’ve already seen many users say they would never put a camera from Meta on their wrists given the ongoing privacy concerns with the social network,” wrote Gurman.
“That issue may ultimately hamper the device, but I do believe someone will eventually nail videoconferencing from the wrist and make it a must-have feature—whether that’s Meta, Apple, or another company.”
Gurman also touched on “Project Cambria”—Meta’s codename for its mixed reality headset—and said that it could be “compelling.”
The tech journalist noted that Cambria has a color passthrough mode, which makes the real world look “more lifelike” when observed through the headset in comparison with the firm’s existing Quest 2 headset.
“Incoming are better optics and displays and a bevy of new sensors to build more realistic avatars of its users. The Quest has been fairly successful as a VR headset, and, despite concerns about Meta, I think this new device will be a hit.”
The device from Meta is “going straight after Apple’s first mixed reality headset,” as per Gurman.
It was reported in June by the Verge that Facebook was planning to release its smartwatch next summer.
Gurman predicted that Apple’s mixed reality would be launched as soon as next year and it would have both augmented and virtual reality functions.
On Friday, Facebook shares closed 2.1 percent higher at $323.57 in the regular session. On the same day, Apple shares closed nearly 1.8 percent lower at $149.81.
By Shivdeep Dhaliwal
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