Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t been shy about addressing the elephant in the room: with Apple Vision Pro, the Cupertino tech giant is officially entering a market that, up until now, Meta has basically owned. In a meeting with Meta employees, Zuckerberg thinks that while Apple Vision Pro “could be the vision of the future of computing […] it’s not the one that I want.”

As reported by The Verge, Zuckerberg seems very confident in the company’s XR offerings, and is less impressed with Apple’s design tradeoffs. During a companywide meeting, Zuckerberg said that with Vision Pro, Appe has “no kind of magical solutions,” and that they haven’t bypassed “any of the constraints on laws of physics that our teams haven’t already explored and thought of.” He calls that “the good news.”

Largely, Zuckerberg says Apple is making some telling design tradeoffs, as its higher resolution displays, advanced software, and external battery comes alongside a $3,500 price tag—or seven times more than Meta’s upcoming Quest 3 mixed reality standalone.

Photo by Road to VR

But it’s also about ethos. Zuckerberg says the companies’ respective headsets represent a divide in company philosophy, as Apple products are typically developed to appeal to high income consumers. “We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible, and that is a core part of what we do. And we have sold tens of millions of Quests,” he said.

“More importantly, our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways,” Zuckerberg continued. “Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want.”

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The Meta chief echoed some of these statements on the Lex Fridman podcast where he spoke about his opinions on Apple Vision Pro, noting that Apple’s mixed reality headset offers a “certain level of validation for the category.” Because Vision Pro will cost so much though, Zuckerberg maintains Quest 3 will overall benefit as people inevitably gravitate to towards the cheaper, more consumer-friendly option.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s full statement, sourced from the companywide address:

Apple finally announced their headset, so I want to talk about that for a second. I was really curious to see what they were gonna ship. And obviously I haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll learn more as we get to play with it and see what happens and how people use it.

From what I’ve seen initially, I’d say the good news is that there’s no kind of magical solutions that they have to any of the constraints on laws of physics that our teams haven’t already explored and thought of. They went with a higher resolution display, and between that and all the technology they put in there to power it, it costs seven times more and now requires so much energy that now you need a battery and a wire attached to it to use it. They made that design trade-off and it might make sense for the cases that they’re going for.

But look, I think that their announcement really showcases the difference in the values and the vision that our companies bring to this in a way that I think is really important. We innovate to make sure that our products are as accessible and affordable to everyone as possible, and that is a core part of what we do. And we have sold tens of millions of Quests.

More importantly, our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social. It’s about people interacting in new ways and feeling closer in new ways. Our device is also about being active and doing things. By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself. I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want. There’s a real philosophical difference in terms of how we’re approaching this. And seeing what they put out there and how they’re going to compete just made me even more excited and in a lot of ways optimistic that what we’re doing matters and is going to succeed. But it’s going to be a fun journey.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Here is the thing why metas headsets are so cheap: you pay with your data to a company that is known for invading and selling your private data (cambridge analytica). Just saying. I own a Quest 2 and have owned Q1 and will probably buy the Q3. But this needs to be addressed when talking about prices here….

    • another juan

      according to john carmack, a big part of the engineering work goes into making the technology cheaper to produce, and that popular view is overlooking those engineering achievements.
      meta’s current business model elsewhere is about selling ads, but quest is such a small platform in comparison that it wouldn’t make any sense for them applying that model there. not yet.

      • Dragon Marble

        True. Even when MR gets big one day, at that point Meta would be more interested in selling their own products to you than advertising other companies’ products to you. Even with current the social media business, I suspect that they’d rather you pay a subscription than sending ads to you. Just ask UploadVR. But people like free stuff.

      • Its one of metas core values and their soul purpose thats why. Do you really believe that they are a „social“ company. Even 20 million VR users is valuable data since its such a niche. Of course its interesting to know how big of a playspace users have, how they behave and move, where they look at and how long they stay in various apps. Etc…
        Its very valuable data.

        • Dragon Marble

          Of course it’s valuable data. It can be used to improve the device and user experience. Whenever I am asked if I am willing to share, I click “yes”.

          By visiting this webpage and leaving comments here, we’re telling the internet a lot more about ourselves than using a VR headset. If think it’s all anonymous, think again.

          • What makes you believe that I do think so? And how bold of you telling me that by browsing the internet and commenting on a website is the same as eoomscale data, identifyable and private movements and hand/arm/gripping behaviour. I don’t care about up- or downvotes. Its just a fact that meta is selling users data to third parties. Believe what you will, just don’t feel save in how you behave online or in vr….

          • Dragon Marble

            That’s just irrational fear of new things. First, they are not selling your “private arm movements” to anyone. Second, that kind of information is not even useful for targeted ads. Do you really think they need to track you eyes to figure out what you like or dislike, when you are constantly clicking buttons and links to tell them exactly that? Talking about crossing a river to get water.

            When I say “they”, it doesn’t mean Meta. It’s the entire internet. Try google some product, boxing gloves, or whatever, and then come back to RoadtoVR, and see how the ads have changed.

        • another juan

          i don’t think there’s such a thing as a corporation’s “core values”. all them want to make money, no matter what bs their marketing people tell you.

          • Then think again.

          • another juan

            really don’t get where you come from, but corporations are NOT people with values and emotions
            corporations DO have strengths and clout, and if social is not meta’s thing, i don’t know what is.

          • sfmike

            So true, and if a corporation was a person they would be one self-centered greedy mofo.

      • Atlas

        The argument that it’s too small a platform to exploit isn’t very strong.
        Facebook has shown over and over that they take user data, sometimes without approval, as much as they can. There is no reason to believe they don’t do it here.

        I’m old enough to remember when their VPN aimed at kids used their browsing data. Or when their news app accessed cameras without user approval.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      What private data from using your Quest 2 is sold by Meta? Mind you Cambridge analytica was about facebook and way before the Quest 2 arrived).

      • Of course it was about facebook and about a couple million userdata. What makes you think that the company formally known as facebook has changed course ever since?

        When it comes to biometric data (eye tracking, hand tracking), Meta claims raw image data is processed locally before being deleted. However, data can still be derived from raw images. Meta refers to this as abstracted data.That data can potentially be sold to third parties.

        Look, I use my Quest 2 nearly on a daily basis. But when Zuck talks down competition one should also be reminded about their business practice.

        • another juan

          if your business is selling personalized ads, selling the data wouldn’t be like giving away the golden egg chicken?

          • Why would they? Collecting data and selling it to 3rd parties is what meta/facebook/instagram is doing all day. They don’t give away anything – they just share for profits.

    • ApocalypseShadow

      Actually the real reason was **predatory pricing.** They knowingly low balled everyone else to get control of the market. Since no one could compete, start ups dropped like flies. Others thought it was too risky.

      Then, they raised the price as predators do with market control. But now that competitors have come on the scene, Facebook fired thousands of employees and lowered the price again to the original predator price range. It wasn’t a price cut if it’s selling for the same price as when it launched.

      They think they are slick. They should be sued because of the predator pricing but it is hard to prove in court.

    • @nsmartinworld

      Facebook is free, and total garbage.

      • Chris

        And it divides people, creates political unrest, and is a tool used in wars, elections, and ethnic division. Listen to Zuck and it’s all Unicorns and Rainbows

        • @nsmartinworld

          Not to mention highly selective, and often government-instigated, censorship.

    • ViRGiN

      maybe valve index isn’t standalone like quest 2, or high resolution like hp g2, but at least it’s more expensive

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    Evil Zuck: “Apple Vision Pro “could be the vision of the future of computing […] it’s not the one that I want.”

    Of course not. Your vision is as cheap as it gets headset that is still able to datamine shit out of it’s owner. Race to the bottom tech wise and privacy concerns… What’s that?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      But don’t count on Apple to provide a headset for the mainstream. And what apple is showing isn’t anything special with the pricetag STARTING at $3500. If the Apple Vision Pro would be $1000-$1500 then I sure as hell would be impressed.
      And your datamining claim (as using camera’s and such) is just bullocks. Account ‘datamining’ is happening just as much with Apple as it is with Meta.

      • Bob

        “If the Apple Vision Pro would be $1000-$1500…”

        Depends upon the success of this first generation model which would warrant the existence of a non-pro lineup. The target for Apple is to get the price down to the range of a standard iphone ($1000 to sub-$1000) which I’m sure they’re working hard toward achieving otherwise the spatial computing business for the masses will never take-off.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          But by that time it won’t have the same features as tge current one (or we’re 4-5 years off when the currently used parts cost much less), and by that time the competition will also have it all for the same price as the their headsets now. The biggest advantage Apple currently has, is its vastly experience with designing/having their own OS, which is what makes the Vision Pro stand out more and gives the Pro more advantage due to already available Apple’s own apps next to the big collection of third party.

    • Nathan

      I’m not sure Meta intended to monetise the Quest system similar to how FB did. So far their main income comes from the 30% cut in software sale similar to how iOS works. I have not seen advertisements inside Quest so far, have you?

    • sfmike

      Are you naive enough to think Apple isn’t data mining the shit out of you too? I guess so…

  • xyzs

    Anyway, whatever Apple was doing, he would state that it’s good but not as good as their plan…

    • Well yeah, what the hell else is he gonna say …? lol
      Sure, he’s fully retired from Meta now hopefully he still does his talks
      at Meta Connect as a “Meta Fellow”,

  • Dragon Marble

    The difference is more than philosophical. I don’t understand how the theory of “making it great before making it affordable” would work in practice. Apple is reported to hope to sell 900,000 units the first year. Bloomberg’s estimate is at 500,000. Given the Vision Pro’s price, that would actually be a significant portion of the VR market in terms of hardware revenue. However, hardware is worthless without a sustainable content ecosystem. Will developers find it worthwhile to develop immersive contents for AVP? I don’t know.

    • If they sell close to 900K AVPs the first year, Apple spatial computing
      instantly becomes a multibillion dollar business.
      Incredible …. lol
      And not to worry: AVP apps are coming by the truckful.
      ♥️

    • @nsmartinworld

      That “theory” has been operative in the electronics and tech industries since WWII, and it not only works, it is indispensable. Companies need affluent adopters to buy into the early and costly models to sort of beta test and create the volume which allows for cheaper components and mass produced models. It’s hard to think of an innovative electronics product where this has not been the case, and it also applies to many other industry, such as automotive. Affluent early adopters got automatic transmissions and electric windows, and now almost everyone gets them.

      • Dragon Marble

        Your examples are not relevant. They do not rely a hardware-specific software ecosystem to realize their values to the users.

        • Will

          Apple is focused on AR that uses their existing ecosystem of software, so it will come baked-in with everything they’re targeting to users. All of their iOS and MacOS apps work in Vision, and they’ve just added a layer to allow Windows apps to work inside of MacOS.

          Everything else is gravy for them at this point. They just want to get users buying into experiencing their existing software in an AR space, that’s what their “spatial computing” branding is about. VR experiences will come later.

  • Apparently AVP does VR as well.
    I guess turn the immersion knob all the way up. lol
    But I say that, ’cause “Rec Room” [RR], of ALL apps,
    is the first outside dev to announce apps for AVP.
    And I *guess* it’s gonna be VR ’cause I just don’t see RR working in AR.
    So while I *initially* thought Zucky’s VR fiefdom was safe since AVP’s an AR devi– ….
    uh, spatial computer, now with the announcement of a VR APP as AVP’s very first third party software, no I’m not so sure.
    Whatever AVP does AR-wise, Quest 3 better mimick the stuffing outta it. lol
    ♥️

    • sfmike

      With the usual Apple sky high price tag Zuck doesn’t have to worry too much.

      • Guest

        I think Zuck will be a short term benefactor for this. People will see the VIsion Pro, balk at the price, and Zuck will be there promising the world to them at only $500 for a small taste of what could be. Now the master play for him would be for them to just get invested in the Meta ecosystem and then just stick with it once Apple gets their costs down to a premium but justifiable cost. I’m not convinced he can do that… yet.

  • @nsmartinworld

    Insight from one of the least credible businessmen in America.

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    The truth is – Zuckerberg is among the first to buy Vision Pro, it’s pocket change for him to buy a hundred and give to his friends. A VR geek like him is drooling at it despite looking aloof for his business’s sake.

    Now that he has his perfect toy, I think he can concentrate on AI now.

    • Jistuce

      I mean, his company’s already got preorders in for a few, no questions asked. They almost certainly have a fairly large collection of VR headsets, large and small. There’s no replacement for actually buying, using, and disassemblingh the competitions’ products.

  • Tea EarlGrayHot

    Sorry, old news. Six hundred billion only.

    • Nathan

      still a big business and his words are still worth listening to for a lot of people

  • Well, he’s right. But he shouldn’t underestimate Apple execution machine.

  • Jim Foulk

    Translation: “Apple cracked several key UI issues that we never solved. We’re boned”

    • Nathan

      which one specifically?

      • Atlas

        Control UI with your eyes for starters.

        • Nathan

          Wasn’t that done in PSVR2? (Horizon Call of the Mountain)

          • Atlas

            It’s feasible on PSVR2 but the system isn’t made for it.

          • Nathan

            that means the UI issue was solved by the PSVR2, not by Apple, at least Apple is not the first. It’s also true that most VR systems are designed with the laser pointer as the primary input instead of eye tracking. The Apple system however will be severely lacking for any demanding VR games

          • Atlas

            It’s very finicky on PSVR, Apple’s implementation is just perfect.

            Another thing they havce cracked is world tracking which is perfect as well. No one does else does it.

  • Keith James

    I think what Apple is doing is brilliant. Start with something that destroys the competition then R&D the H&** out of the thing until it is a lightweight pair of glasses. They will end up taking over Meta in my opinion as the echo system with the Apple products will drive customers in that direction.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      With prices like that, there is no ‘destroying the competition’.

    • Jistuce

      You can’t just make it smaller and cheaper. A pair of glasses is a wildly challenging package both optically and component-wise, and they will HAVE to make major hardware concessions to fit it in anything close.

      And the echo chamber hasn’t exactly forced Google or Microsoft out of the market yet.

      Also, I’m still laughing at the external screen. “Hey, look! Our headset doesn’t hide your eyes! People might think they have your attention while you’re incredibly occupied!”

      • sfmike

        Google and Microsoft will only jump in when their board can see an entrance that only guarantees a quick profit as they show over end over that they have a very short attention span for projects that risk them much capital.

        • Jistuce

          Which… doesn’t actually contradict anything I said. Except for the point that the Apple echo-chamber hasn’t forced Google and MS out of the market in other fields, so betting on it killing Quest is dubious. They really aren’t as powerful as people give them credit for, and never will be as long as they focus on the premium market to the exclusion of all else.

          Though Google and MS have both already been IN the VR market and pulled out after being burnt by lower-than-expected demand. MS especially is rather gun-shy, having lost big bets on Kinect, Win MR, and HoloLens all in close proximity(and also Windows Phone and Windows 8). They’re starting to come back out of a very conservative phase, so we’ll see what the future holds.

    • Nathan

      Apple approach is really questionable to be honest. This new “spacial computing platform” needs apps to thrive. Developers will only invest in a platform that have a significant market share, which at this price point is not going to move the needle. Unless Apple figured out a way for spacial apps to run well on iPhone and iPad to encourage developers, spacial apps are not coming at all

      • silvaring

        Why do you think the iPad pro from a few years ago started to include infra red depth cameras?

  • Celest

    “…our vision for the metaverse and presence is fundamentally social.”

    Meanwhile Horizon…

  • fcpw

    “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” said Ballmer. This aged like fine wine!

  • @nsmartinworld

    There are people who believe that revenue is a proxy for intelligence. I’ve yet to meet one who exhibited compelling intellect. By that measure the inventor of Silly Putty was much smarter than Karl Popper.