Interest in the metaverse to propel both Apple and Meta in 2022, analyst says

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Apple and Meta will duke it out for the top-performing tech stock spot in 2022 as investors seek to invest in the metaverse, according to Loup Ventures.

In a new research note, Loup Ventures partner and analyst Gene Munster outlined some of his predictions for 2022. One of them is that Apple and Meta — formerly known as Facebook — will duel in 2022, driven by the metaverse's flight to quality.

The metaverse is the idea of connecting within 3D or 2D virtual worlds. Among technology companies, Meta — true to its new name — is much more closely associated with the concept than Apple. However, Munster believes Apple is well-positioned to take advantage of the metaverse.

"We believe there is a high likelihood that Apple eventually has a family of products addressing the [metaverse] and we should see a prototype in 2022," Munster writes. "AR or MR glasses are a logical Apple contribution to the metaverse, where we will play and work in more immersive digital worlds."

Although the metaverse might exist primarily in 2D in the next couple of years, Munster believes it'll shift to 3D with a focus on hardware. As such, the analyst says that Apple and Facebook will be pitted against each other in a "race to build affordable and comfortable headsets through which the world can experience the metaverse."

The analyst says that Apple will likely preview an MR headset at WWDC 2022. However, it won't be available for sale until 2023 at the earliest.

Apple has long been rumored to be developing several different AR or MR devices, including a high-end Apple VR visor that could focus on virtual reality and gaming. Apple is also thought to be working on a smaller and lighter "Apple Glass" wearable that could be a companion to an iPhone.