It’s ‘Word I Will Never Use’

  • An Apple executive said the word metaverse is one he will “never use.”
  • Tim Cook previously said Apple avoids using the word because people don’t know what it means.
  • Mark Zuckerberg has centered his entire company around the concept.

Apple executive Greg Joswiak took a playful dig at Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the metaverse during a conference on Tuesday.

Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said metaverse is a “word I’ll never use,” when asked for comment on the subject at a conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal. 

At the same event, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, piled onto the statement.

“Yeah, I’m good with that,” he quipped.

Apple has made a point of dodging the terminology in the past, even as it works on its own combined AR and VR headset. Earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook said the company avoids using the word “metaverse” because the average person doesn’t know what it means.

Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has made the metaverse the primary focus (and name) of his company, previously known as Facebook.

Zuckerberg has said he envisions a future where people connect in a digital universe using avatars and has spent $15 billion so far on attempting to make that vision a reality.

But executives at competing companies like Apple and Snap have major doubts about his vision for the future.

Instead, Cook and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel have decided to focus their companies around augmented reality versus a virtual one. While VR takes the individual into a completely digitally recreated landscape, AR combines computer-generated content with the real world — meaning that in AR digital content is superimposed onto an individual’s view of the real world.

“I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook said earlier in September, adding that virtual reality is not a way to “live your whole life.”

On Tuesday, Spiegel said that there is “a clear fork in the road between VR and AR,” calling AR “more immersive.”

Apple is one of Meta’s biggest competitors when it comes to selling gadgets for the metaverse. In July,  Zuckerberg told staff that Meta is in “deep, philosophical competition” with Apple to build the metaverse.


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