Apple stock up 8% following announcement on intent to join the metaverse

  • Apple saw its shares jump 8 percent in the after-hours trading after CEO Tim Cook said the company was investing in the Metaverse.
  • Other companies boast a competitive advantage over the iPhone maker for being early players in the space. 

Apple saw its stock rally during Thursday’s after-hours trading after CEO Tim Cook expressed interest in the Metaverse. The company gave its Q1, 2022 earnings call yesterday, after which the executive said of the Metaverse, “we see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly.”

We’re always exploring new and emerging technologies and I’ve spoken at length about how it’s very interesting to us right now.

Apple shares (APPL) fell about 3 percent to $159.22 during regular trading hours, only to recoup 8 percent to trade at $167.23 in the after hours.

According to Appleinsider, in the call, Cook notes that Apple’s App Store hosts a cluster of 14,000 apps designed using AR (augmented reality) developer platform ARKit. Due to the technology backing them, these apps can be used to access the Metaverse. In comparison, Meta plans on using the Oculus headset to immerse users into the virtual reality space.

Initially, the iPhone maker had scheduled for the release of an Apple headset this year. The piece would enable gaming, communication, and content consumption using Apple devices. However, a Jan. 14 report by Bloomberg says the project may be held up due to hardware and software difficulties.

Apple and the Metaverse industry

Even though it is one of the world’s largest company with a $2.6T market cap, Apple is lagging behind its fellow tech colossi in the Metaverse space. Meta, (formerly Facebook) made the rebrand in October last year, signaling its focus on the new technology. Currently, the social media giant is developing the world’s fastest supercomputer to plug users into the Metaverse. Meta has already completed phase one of the new AI project and plans to complete the rest of it within the year. And even though the company saw massive failure with its Diem stablecoin project to the point of selling it off, these developments make it one of the most advanced companies diving into the Metaverse. 

Heavily competing with Meta in this space is Microsoft. Just days after Facebook’s rebrand, Microsoft announced its intent to bring the Metaverse inside Microsoft Teams using the Mesh platform. The firm will blend mixed reality and HoloLens work with video calls and meetings featuring real people and animated avatars. More recently, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $69 billion to move further into Metaverse gaming.

Read More: A $69B bet on the metaverse? Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard

But not everyone is convinced about the hype, positive comments, and grand expectations for the Metaverse. Ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Tesla CEO Elon Musk brushed it off as a marketing buzzword. Playstation creator Ken Kutaragi expressed similar sentiments, calling it a “pointless” pursuit. Criticism of new things is quite natural, and only time will tell how the Metaverse turns out.

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