Apple Not the Buzziest Name in the Metaverse, But Investors Are Optimistic
Investors Flock to Apple While Meta Earns Most of the Buzz
A buzz has surrounded the metaverse ever since Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s renaming to Meta Platforms (FB) in late October, and its shares have risen 7% since that time. Yet, Apple (AAPL) shares have climbed a much higher 18% over the same period without as much metaverse fanfare. Investors and analysts largely attribute the gains to optimism the tech giant will soar into the new digital frontier.
One aspect of this confidence stems from Apple’s previous success with hardware. For example, many investors say they’re betting Apple will introduce new AR and VR devices within the next 12 months. The company hasn’t shared many details about its metaverse plans, although CEO Tim Cook has called the technology a critical piece of Apple’s future.
Apple’s “Ecosystem” Could Easily Integrate Into Metaverse
Hardware is one factor that has analysts and investors so bullish regarding Apple’s metaverse potential. Proponents describe a future in which users regularly work, shop, and play within the space. Accordingly, analysts maintain the tech giant’s past success building a fully integrated ecosystem of software, services, and hardware could transfer well into that type of setting.
Industry watchers say Apple’s metaverse involvement is the key to mass-market adoption of augmented and virtual reality. Some expect Apple to produce over 22 million AR/VR devices by the end of the decade, with the potential to boost company sales by 4%. The same line of thinking estimates that metaverse hardware sales could represent over one-fifth of Apple’s total revenue by 2040.
Who Will Take Home the Metaverse Crown? Apple Faces Stiff Competition
While the digital realm’s full potential remains unclear, companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and of course Meta are all aggressively pursuing a piece of the pie. Meta’s VR headset sales continue to rise, Microsoft’s Hololens earns widespread praise, and Google announced plans for new AR glasses in late 2021. Hence, competition is alive and well within the space.
There are other obstacles to consider, as some Apple supporters would prefer the company pursue different projects like electric vehicle development. Legal analysts note Apple could also face new antitrust allegations while integrating into the metaverse — a hindrance highlighted by Epic Games in its Fortnite lawsuit. Regardless, investors and analysts alike show overall optimism regarding Apple’s metaverse upside.
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