Virtual Reality, Real Rivalry – Meta’s Quest 3 Challenges Apple’s Vision Pro

Posted by

The soap operas of Silicon Valley continue as the world turns…

Look no further than virtual reality.
Last week, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took to his personal Instagram account to review Apple’s Vision Pro headset (recorded – naturally – on his own Quest 3 headset).
Zuck later appeared on the Morning Brew podcast and called out “Apple Fanboys” as well (it all left me wondering if he’s taken a page from one of his pastime’s favorite CEOs – Dana White from the UFC?).
It’s both bold and reminiscent of tech critiques from the past, and Zuckerberg didn’t mince words – asserting that Meta’s Quest 3 headset surpasses Apple’s offering in both value and performance.

This isn’t just a critique about who’s got the bigger product.

It’s another statement about the evolving role of CEOs and how the corporate messaging reaches the right audience (with as few filters as possible).
In an industry where innovation and competition are as much about perception as they are about technology (and reality), Zuckerberg’s direct approach re-ignites the discourse on the effectiveness and risks of CEOs critiquing competitors’ products so openly.
I’m more of a believer in the “don’t feed the trolls” communications strategy.

The more things change…

Zuckerberg’s comments hark back to a similar moment in tech history when then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously dismissed the iPhone.
It’s a cautionary tale – one that reminds us how quickly today’s certainty can become tomorrow’s sock puppet in the tech world.
But Zuckerberg’s approach differs (slightly) by going through his direct, personal and social channel than traditional media interviews.
This choice reflects and amplifies a modern, more connected leadership style, but it also blurs the lines between personal opinion and official company stance.

With that… VR headsets are no slam dunk for any of these tech behemoths.

Apple’s Vision Pro, priced at a $3499, has faced criticism over comfort, lack of apps, and its cost.
Interestingly, Apple Insider notes that despite these issues, the return rate for the Vision Pro is surprisingly low.
This could imply that Apple’s loyal customer base and brand strength are factors that Meta cannot afford to underestimate.

On the other hand…

Meta’s Quest 3, priced at a more accessible $499, positions itself as not just a value proposition but, as Zuckerberg claims, a superior product.
MarketWatch highlights Zuckerberg’s mockery of “Apple fanboys,” suggesting a strategy that involves rallying a base of Meta enthusiasts.
Bloomberg points out the challenges faced by both companies, emphasizing the need for not only technological advancement but also user experience improvements.
The inevitability of VR technology’s rise is clear (to me), but the path to its widespread adoption is still being paved by these tech giants.

Can Zuckerberg’s IG post sway markets?

This is what Elias Makos and I discussed on CJAD 800 AM. Listen in right here.

Before you go… ThinkersOne is a new way for organizations to buy bite-sized and personalized thought leadership video content (live and recorded) from the best Thinkers in the world. If you’re looking to add excitement and big smarts to your meetings, corporate events, company off-sites, “lunch & learns” and beyond, check it out.