Technology

The ‘virtual universe’ gamble: Bet on Apple or Microsoft?


Tech giants all plunge into the virtual universe race (metaverse), Apple and Microsoft are no exception.

Metaverse is considered a potential trend that will blur the line between the real and virtual worlds in the future. It is estimated that this market will be worth up to 830 billion USD by 2028. While Microsoft has begun to exploit the vast metaverse market, Apple is working on virtual reality (VR) device projects.

Apple focuses on VR/AR

Apple products are used by billions of users around the world, which means the company has a strong ecosystem in place to adopt metaverse related services. CEO Tim Cook said Apple is exploring new, emerging technologies and virtual universe is a potential area.

Metaverse Gamble: Bet on Apple or Microsoft?

Apple has 1.8 billion active devices globally. As such, the company can create a metaverse device and bundle it with products in the vast existing ecosystem.

Apple is said to be working on a mixed reality headset, which combines both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). This is a smart move, a headset will pave the way for millions of users to join a virtual universe where they can work, play, study or socialize.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that AR/VR headset shipments could grow at an annual rate of nearly 46 percent by 2025 to nearly 44 million units. The potential price of Apple headsets suggests the company can dominate this market in the long term. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could launch its first headset by the end of this year.

Apple seems to be focusing on VR/AR projects to easily break into the metaverse market. The plan will also help Apple expand its services business by creating essential apps to be used in the virtual universe.

Microsoft promotes the game segment

Unlike Apple creating a new product, Microsoft can enter the metaverse market by leveraging cloud computing, games, and workflow software.

Shortly after Meta (Facebook’s parent company) announced its intention to bet big on the metaverse in October 2021, Microsoft announced that it would be implementing Mesh. This is a metaverse model used on smartphones, laptops or mixed reality headsets to enhance the experience when conducting online meetings on Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft is aiming to rapidly scale its presence in the metaverse with the help of Teams, which currently has 270 million monthly users.

On the other hand, Microsoft’s games division could open up another big opportunity for the company. Microsoft also bought the game company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion with the desire to accelerate growth in the cross-device gaming business and lay the foundation for the company to enter the virtual universe. Microsoft can also offer metaverse-optimized games on its Xbox Game Pass service with over 25 million subscribers.

Cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale estimates that gaming in the metaverse could become a $400 billion market by 2025. Microsoft is sure to make good use of this opportunity as it has a solid subscriber base. for its game streaming service and has been actively expanding its game library to attract more users.

Overall, Microsoft can enter the virtual universe in many ways. The bright spot is that the company is working on Mesh implementation and things could get better over time if Microsoft offers more metaverse apps in the future.

Where to bet?

In the metaverse race, Apple seems to be in the incubation stage, and Microsoft has made clear moves. No one has yet envisioned what Apple’s headset will look like, while Microsoft users can experience the metaverse with Mesh and the future will be games.

Also, Microsoft is growing at a faster rate than Apple. Microsoft expects revenue to grow 18% in fiscal year 2022 and 14% next year. Apple is expected to grow at a much slower rate of 8% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023.

With all the above advantages, betting on Microsoft in the metaverse “gamble” seems to be the wiser thing at the moment.

Huong Dung (According to Montley Fool)

What does the 'predecessor' platform of the metaverse born many years ago have?

What does the ‘predecessor’ platform of the metaverse born many years ago have?

The platform had more than 1 million users in 2007 and is considered the ‘predecessor’ of the metaverse.

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