Apple teased its metaverse ambitions as CEO Tim Cook talked about expanding the company’s augmented reality apps, prompting strong investor response. The company has 14,000 AR apps on its App Store, and Cook suggested this number will rise with further investment.
“We see a lot of potential in this space and are investing accordingly,” said Cook, in response to a question about its plans for the metaverse.
Apple plans to introduce an AR headset by this or next year with glasses to follow later. Apple has not yet publicly acknowledged these plans. Cook’s comments helped drive Apple stock up nearly 5 per cent in after-hours trade.
Cook separately teased that Apple’s research and development efforts are focused on the intersection of hardware, software and services.
“That’s where the magic really happens; there’s quite a bit of investment going into things that are not on the market at this point. An AR device could open many opportunities to grow subscriptions. Existing offerings for fitness workouts and video content could grow more attractive through immersive AR experiences,” Cook said.
As the services and subscribers have grown, Apple’s gross profit margins have jumped above 40 per cent, drawing praise from many analysts.