Can Apple Make the Metaverse Happen?

The tech giant’s buzzy conference this week reignited interest in the future of digital experiences.

daria
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Reviewed by: Lisa Barr
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Edited by: Sean Allocca

The metaverse is back! Or, at the very least, the rah-rah crowd is back trying to make the metaverse happen. 

After metaverse ETFs failed to attract investors, the buzz around metaverse died down, even a company formerly known as Facebook, after going all-in on the metaverse and even renaming itself Meta, knocked down the digital universe on its list of priorities and moved on to other things like AI on the fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this year.  

If that’s any indication, the exchange-traded funds with “metaverse” in their description attracted $520 million to date, according to Bloomberg data. 

But this week, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference reignited the metaverse buzz and showcased that the company intends to be a very serious player in the space. It makes sense: Apple has the app store and the consumer experience necessary to make a metaverse era a success.  

On Monday, Twitter was flooded with references to “Black Mirror,” the spooky futuristic TV series that Apple’s presentation reminded everyone of. And even though the price point is still high for Apple’s “nerd helmet,” as the Wall Street Journal called Apple’s latest product, they certainly succeeded in capturing people’s imaginations of what this new metaverse experience could actually look like for an average user. 

“Apple will win AR, thanks to their App Store — obviously,” tweeted Jason Calacanis, a venture capital investor behind Uber, Inside.com and other businesses. “@meta will lose $75b funding the roadmap & RD — eventually giving up on Oculus/spinning it out.”  

As the space remains new and in a state of flux, metaverse ETFs can appear to be the obvious choice for gaining exposure to this new market. The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (METV) has garnered most of the metaverse-curious investors’ attention, with $484 million. Apple is its second largest holding, at 8.08%. METV is up 40% year to date! 

Still, while there are plenty of metaverse ETF options out there, if someone is bullish on Apple, they don’t need a separate metaverse-themed vehicle. They could just go for the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT) or the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK), with 23.5% and 22.98% allocation to Apple, respectively. 

 

Contact Daria Solovieva at [email protected] 

Daria Solovieva is a former managing editor at etf.com. Before joining etf.com, she worked as a financial journalist for leading publications all over the world, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and others.