During Apple‘s first fiscal quarter earnings call, Tim Cook was asked about Apple‘s plans for the metaverse by a Morgan Stanley analyst and Cook’s reply focused solely on ARKit and all the different apps available on the App Store that benefit from those technological affordances. In a way, Cook’s vision for an Apple Metaverse lies on augmented reality rather than creating a new reality that exists only virtually [more of Meta‘s approach to the metaverse; also my views on what the metaverse means for the sport industry are here].
And this vision for Apple metaverse might be already materialising in front of our eyes if we read the announcement of Apple TV+ first deal to broadcast live sport (see video below) alongside all the rumours about a possible Apple Glass.
The decision to broadcast Baseball on Apple TV+ as its first live sport content might be a telling fact of how Apple sees the (sport) metaverse as it can be argued that as a sport – maybe similar to cricket – it has a different rhythm that is experienced throughout our day alongside other activities. In a way, the Apple metaverse does not exist disassociated from our reality, but it is superimposed through augmented reality technological affordances.
Therefore, we will be able to experience baseball and other sports through augmented reality from our living room while engaging in conversations with friends and family who are physically present next to us. This is very similar to what I have discussed in this post here about the future of sport and media and the parallel I made to Star Wars’ holochess. Thus, the Apple metaverse might be the game changer that will transform not only its home product category by offering another product/service that brings people together, but ultimately will disrupt completely the sport media ecosystem.
As a result, the way I see Apple‘s vision for the metaverse in comparison to Meta‘s vision is something similar to the distinction between Nintendo and Sony approaches to video game. The Meta/Sony approach rests on a virtual communal experience that is more private and maybe a good analogy in terms of home is the bedroom. Whereas, using the same analogy, the Apple‘s approach to the metaverse [or Nintendo to video game] seeks to reinstate the living room as primary space in the house for communal cultural consumption practices, and sport the ideal content for giving families something in common to talk about.