IDC: “All eyes will be on Apple” as Meta’s VR strategy “isn’t sustainable”

Enlarge / The Oculus Quest 2.

A recent media release from market analysis agency IDC predicts that Meta (the guardian firm of Fb) could not be capable to compete within the mixed-reality enterprise in the long term if its technique stays unchanged.

The media launch provides a fowl’s-eye view of the digital actuality {hardware} market. Within the launch, IDC analysis supervisor Jitesh Ubrani stated that, whereas “Meta continues to pour {dollars} into creating the metaverse, [the company’s] technique of selling low-cost {hardware} on the expense of profitability is not sustainable in the long term.”

A similar concern was raised by tech trade analyst Ming-Chi Kuo late final month. Kuo predicted that Meta would make strikes to scale down funding in digital actuality, creating a gap for Apple and different rivals. He additionally wrote that Meta’s follow of promoting VR headsets at a loss is unsustainable.

At present, Meta owns 90 p.c of the VR headset market, in response to the IDC launch. In distant second is ByteDance’s Pico, at simply 4.5 p.c. Total, VR headset shipments jumped 241.6 p.c yr over yr within the first quarter of 2022. However the trade confronted important provide points in Q1 2021, contributing to “a positive comparability” for this yr’s Q1.

Like Kuo a few weeks in the past, IDC analysis director Ramon Llamas stated that “all eyes will probably be on Apple because it launches its first headset subsequent yr.” Apple’s headset is anticipated to be rather more costly than Meta’s choices, driving up the typical unit value for the product class throughout the board, and Llamas believes Apple’s providing “will enchantment primarily to a small viewers of early adopters and Apple followers.”

In different phrases, do not anticipate the primary Apple headset to ship vastly extra items than Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 proper out of the gate. It is only a first step in a long-term plan to personal the mixed-reality market. As a number of reviews over the previous couple of years have famous, that plan will in the end contain low-cost AR glasses and different merchandise that can search to broaden the person base for mixed-reality {hardware}.

Apple and Meta usually are not the one corporations engaged on mass-market mixed-reality {hardware} merchandise. We reported in April that Amazon posted a number of job listings soliciting candidates who may also help the corporate construct an “superior” AR/VR product. And in December, we discovered from job listings that Google plans to construct a brand new augmented-reality machine and working system.

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