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In the burgeoning arena of virtual reality, two tech giants, Apple and Meta, are poised for a pivotal showdown. As Meta persists in its metaverse ambitions, Apple is rumored to be joining the fray with its Pro Reality headset. The dynamics between these two industry leaders, set against the backdrop of the broader VR market, are compelling to analyze.

Following the release of the updated Meta Quest 3 headset, speculation is mounting about Meta’s intentions. This move, just three days before Apple‘s announcement, suggests that Meta is keen on leveraging the buzz surrounding Apple’s potential entry into the VR market. Will Meta’s strategic timing enable it to maintain its metaverse aspirations?

The Quest for Technological Supremacy

The Meta Quest 3

The Quest 3, Meta’s newest VR headset, has significant enhancements over its predecessor, the Quest 2. It is twice as powerful, 40% thinner, and has improved XR features due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip. Furthermore, the device possesses a full-colour video passthrough mode and a depth sensor, which enhances object tracking accuracy. However, the headset lacks modern XR features such as face and eye tracking, and its single depth sensor might not stand up to Apple’s anticipated VR solution.

Apple’s Potential Gamechanger

Though unconfirmed, rumors abound about Apple’s proposed headset, with features such as XR capabilities, 4K micro-OLED displays, eye and gesture tracking, external battery pack, and prescription lens support. Powered by Apple’s M-series chips, the device might even boast a new operating system, dubbed ‘xrOS’, thus heralding a potentially revolutionary 3D experience. The price tag, though, is steep at a rumored $2999, raising questions about its broader consumer appeal.

The Unseen Battlefield: Enterprise VR

As the consumer VR market seems to be cooling down, the enterprise sector is heating up. Companies such as Magic Leap and Lenovo are targeting their headsets for enterprise use, acknowledging the significant potential of VR applications in training, presentations, and industrial design. However, despite the bustling enterprise metaverse, Meta seems relatively disinterested in enterprise applications, focusing primarily on its consumer market.

In the impending struggle, Apple seems positioned to potentially reinvigorate the VR market, similar to how the iPhone redefined the smartphone industry. If Apple’s Pro Reality headset becomes the premium choice in the VR market, this may leave room for Meta and its more affordable Quest 3 to flourish. Yet, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough for Meta to realize its VR and metaverse aspirations.