• Mark Zuckerberg told Meta staff he views Apple as a metaverse rival, The Verge reports.
• Zuckerberg said Meta and Apple had “philosophical” differences when it comes to the metaverse.
• He said Meta will try to build more “open” metaverse tech.
Mark Zuckerberg views Apple as a major rival to Meta as the company seeks to push into the metaverse, according to a recording of a company meeting obtained by The Verge.
Zuckerberg told staff Meta and Apple are in “very deep, philosophical competition” when it comes to the metaverse.
The word “metaverse” is a term borrowed from science-fiction and refers to a hypothetical version of the internet that is accessed via immersive technologies like VR and AR rather than through screens.
Zuckerberg is betting big on the metaverse, and in October restructured and rebranded the company — formerly known as Facebook — to reflect his metaverse ambitions.
Zuckerberg said one difference between Meta and Apple is that while he believes Apple will create a closed ecosystem for its metaverse tech, Meta will try to be more open.
“We’re approaching this in an open way and trying to build a more open ecosystem,” Zuckerberg said, per a lightly edited transcript of the call published by The Verge.
He added Meta is trying to make its metaverse tech compatible with Android phones.
He also seemed to suggest Meta would beat Apple on price, per The Verge’s transcript:
“We basically deliver our devices at cost or at a slight subsidy, or slightly more than cost in some cases. But the bottom line is our business is not primarily taking a premium on the devices. We want as many people to be interacting in there as possible. Part of that is having it be an open ecosystem that’s interoperable.”
The company’s investment in metaverse tech has so far been a big drain on its cash reserves, and Zuckerberg told shareholders in May he expects metaverse development to keep losing the company money for the next three to five years.
The metaverse isn’t the only battlefield Meta shares with Apple, the companies have publicly sparred over issues such as user privacy.
Meta and Apple did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.