Apple is Secretly Building its Metaverse, Recent Job Posts Suggest

A person with glasses VR headset and apples on head

While most tech companies are currently cutting staff, Apple is hiring. Specifically, the company is looking for mixed reality engineers. In the past week, the tech giant listed over 30 jobs related to AR/VR.

Apple is searching for software engineers that are “passionate” about augmented reality. The tech giant is also looking for an AR/VR architect working with “machine learning, computer vision, and multimedia processing” technologies.

One job post even mentions the development of a “3D mixed-reality world,” which sounds a lot like the metaverse.

“In this role, you will work closely with other developers and build tools and frameworks to enable connected experiences in a 3D mixed-reality world,” the job post reads.

Recent reports suggest that Apple will start mass-producing mixed-reality headsets in March 2023. The headsets will go for between $2,000 and $3,000, powered by a Mac-level M2 chip.

The mixed reality headset will likely be called “Reality Pro” or “Reality One,” according to recent trademark filings. It is not sure yet what Apple might call the VR world itself.

In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he avoids using the term metaverse. The average person, he explains, probably can’t explain what the metaverse is.

Apple in a “Deep” Competiton With Meta

Meta, formerly Facebook, was the first major company to commit significant resources to the metaverse. The company bought the VR maker Occulus and pledged to invest $10 billion per year in the metaverse.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that Meta is in a “very deep, philosophical competition” with Apple over the metaverse.

“We’re approaching this in an open way and trying to build a more open ecosystem. We’re trying to make more stuff interoperable with Android. We’re trying to develop the metaverse in a way where you can bring your virtual goods from one world to another. We created the Metaverse Open Standards Group with a bunch of other folks that you just mentioned, and Apple didn’t join,” Zuckerberg said.

Meta joined Microsoft, Nvidia, Sony, and 33 other major tech companies in an industry group to create the infrastructure for an interoperable metaverse. Apple was notably absent.

Could Apple Beat Meta and Microsoft?

Apple appears to have jumped on the VR trend at the right time, just as its major competitors are struggling.

Meta has lost 75% of its market cap since the name change and the pivot toward the metaverse.  Sales of its Oculus headsets are slow. Even worse, Zuckerberg’s metaverse, Horizon Worlds, is subject to intense criticism by both the media and the public.

Microsoft Corp. is another big competitor. Its investment in gaming through the Xbox platform makes its metaverse expansion seem natural. In fact, the company got a head start in the race to the metaverse with its HoloLens headset.

However, Microsoft has since been struggling on that front. The HoloLens team reportedly lost over 100 employees in the last two years.

Building the headset turned out to be much more challenging than Microsoft anticipated. The company has since restructured that team, formerly of over 1,000 employees, and cut its budget.

On the Flipside

  • Apple prefers to keep the development and design of its products secret. That’s why there’s no way to know for sure what they are working on.

Why You Should Care

If Apple succeeds in making an AR/VR headset for the mass market, metaverse projects could get a significant boost.

Read more about why Meta’s metaverse is under fire:
Biggest Failures Of Meta’s Metaverse

Read about Meta’s layoffs and what they mean for crypto:
Meta To Proceed With Mass Layoffs – What It Means For Crypto & Web 3.0

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

Author

David Marsanic is a business journalist specializing in tech and crypto. He focuses on institutional investors, venture capital and the intersection between DeFi and tradFi. He wants to help retail investors understand how major financial institutions impact the crypto space. He has been active in blockchain and crypto since 2020 and believes that there is huge potential in decentralized tech and finance.