Mark Zuckerberg has some thoughts after Apple took the wraps off its long-awaited Vision Pro earlier this week, which will rival the Quest lineup made by Meta.
Meta is the current market leader for standalone headsets, so people naturally drew comparisons between what Apple is promising from its headset (not to mention its much sleeker, hands-free design) and Meta’s Quest Pro virtual reality headset (comparatively clunkier, hands-tethered controllers).
On paper, and even according to early hands-on impressions, Apple’s headset looks far superior to Meta’s — even if Apple’s headset is exorbitantly more expensive.
We now have some idea of exactly what’s on Zuckerberg’s mind in relation to Apple’s new product — and he was pretty critical.
In a companywide meeting Meta held on Thursday, Zuckerberg told employees that Apple’s and Meta’s headsets are distinctly different visions, calling Apple’s “not the one I want,” according to statements The Verge reported from a video it obtained of the meeting.
“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,” Zuckerberg told employees.
Zuckerberg said that Meta’s focus was on building a headset and metaverse that was “fundamentally social.”
Referring to video clips of the product shown at Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday, Zuckerberg said: “By contrast, every demo that they showed was a person sitting on a couch by themself,” Zuckerberg told employees in the meeting.
“I mean, that could be the vision of the future of computing, but like, it’s not the one that I want.”
While Zuckerberg may be leaning into the product’s difference, Apple is still distinct competition for Meta — something Zuckerberg noted in comments he made last year.
In July of last year, Zuckerberg told employees that Meta and the metaverse were in “very deep, philosophical competition” with Apple. Then, Zuckerberg hypothesized that Apple would try to build a more closed ecosystem for its metaverse tech — a contrast to Meta’s bet on a community-focused metaverse.
In the Thursday meeting, Zuckerberg said that Apple’s headset design didn’t have any innovations that Meta hadn’t “already explored and thought of.”
While Apple’s product may have a higher resolution display, Zuckerberg said he viewed some of Apple’s design choices as a “trade-off,” noting that Apple’s product “requires so much energy that now you need a battery and a wire attached to it to use it.”
Price, Zuckerberg said, is also a major difference. Apple’s headset will be sold for $3,499, while Meta’s entry-level Quest 2 is $299, the upcoming Quest 3 will cost $499, and its most expensive headset, the Oculus Pro, is sold for $1,000.
Zuckerberg highlighted that, in the case of the Quest 3, Apple’s headset “costs seven times more.”