Apple’s stock price jumped after CEO Tim Cook revealed his interest in the metaverse and that his company is investing in AR developments on its devices. APPL had dropped about 3% to $159.22 during regular trading hours but has since jumped up 8% to $167.23 in after-hours trading. The Metaverse was just one of the topics discussed on a call with Tim Cook and results were evident that metaverse is hitting the right chord.
Tim Cook pointed out that Apple (APPL) already has a pack of 14,000 apps on its App Store that have been invented using the AR developer platform ARKit. Apps designed using ARKit could help users gain access to the Metaverse. Although the metaverse can be accessed with a browser, the experience is better with virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
Despite Tim Cook’s embrace of the Metaverse, the Apple headset in development is believed to be focused on gaming, communication, and content consumption. So far, the largest company in the world by market cap is lagging behind other tech leaders like Meta that has leaned toward using the Oculus headset to immerse users into the Metaverse, and Microsoft that recently purchased Activision Blizzard for $69B intending to expand Metaverse gaming.
According to former employees of Microsoft quoted by The Wall Street Journal, around 100 people have ditched the Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headsets over the past year to join Meta Platforms. Meta Platforms was formerly known as Facebook until a major rebranding exercise in October 2021, signaling the company’s growing ambitions beyond social media. Its virtual reality hardware business, “Reality Labs,” has been hard at work in the months since, successfully creating a prototype of its virtual reality “haptic gloves” in mid-November 2021.
Meanwhile, Apple is attempting to counteract an employee exodus to Meta by offering lucrative stock options and bonuses worth between $50,000 and $180,000, according to a report by Bloomberg. In late December 2021, the company presented bonuses to a pack of engineers in silicon design, hardware and some software operations employees. Could this be a reason behind Apple announcing interest in the metaverse?