Tim Cook Has Hinted at Apple's Metaverse Plans and Said It's Investing In the Potential It Sees There
The tech giant already has 14,000 augmented reality apps on its marketplace, Cook said on an earnings call.
Apple is looking seriously into the metaverse and it is putting money into exploring its potential, CEO Tim Cook said during an analysts' earnings call late Thursday.
Asked about the opportunities presented by the metaverse and what role Apple could play, Cook gave a glimpse of the tech giant's plans in the space.
"Well, that's a big question. But we're a company in the business of innovation, so we're always exploring new and emerging technologies. And I — you've spoken at length about how this area is very interesting to us," he said.
"Right now, we have over 14,000 ARKit apps in the App Store, which provide incredible AR experiences for millions of people today."
"We see a lot of potential in this space, and are investing accordingly."
AR, or augmented reality, technology is one way that people can get immersed in the virtual worlds that make up the metaverse — AR headsets in particular. ARKit is Apple's development platform for AR apps.
The metaverse is a loose term for virtual worlds where people can create avatars to have a presence there while they learn, play, work and build.
Interest in the metaverse took off in 2021, as Facebook refocused its business to the sector and rebranded as Meta. Major corporate brands have jumped into the space, with Samsung opening a store in the metaverse and the Australian Open setting up the tennis Grand Slam tournament in a virtual world to mirror the live one in the last two weeks.
Wall Street increasing excited about the promise of the metaverse. Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan wrote in December that virtual worlds could be worth $8 trillion, echoing Morgan Stanley's prediction that monetization of consumers in the US alone would deliver that payoff.
Cook's remarks came in an analyst call to discuss Apple's fiscal first-quarter earnings report, released after the market close Thursday. The company said revenues rose 11% year-on-year to hit $123.9 billion in the final three months of 2021.
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