Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at an Oculus developer conference while wearing a virtual reality headset in San Jose, California.

Glenn Chapman | AFP | Getty Images

Meta shows no sign of significantly reducing its losses from investing in the meta universe as competition intensifies between parent Facebook and An apple in the virtual reality market.

In its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, Meta revealed that its Reality Labs division posted an operating loss of $3.85 billion. Revenue in the meta universe division was $440 million, up about 30% from $339 million a year ago and representing just about 1% of Meta’s total sales for the quarter.

Analysts had expected an operating loss of $4.31 billion and sales of $512.5 million for the quarter, according to StreetAccount.

Reality Labs has already lost more than $45 billion since the end of 2020, when Meta first began reporting the business segment separately.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the metaverse “the next frontier,” envisioning a digital world that facilitates both productivity and entertainment. He changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta in 2021 to reflect his vision for the future of computing.

For now, developing metaverse technology remains a novel and expensive endeavor.

The company introduced the Quest 3 VR headset in September, the latest version of its mixed reality hardware, with a starting price of $499. Apple began selling its $3,499 Vision Pro in February, touting what it calls a “spatial computing” experience.

Meta announced Monday that it will partner with third-party hardware companies to create new VR headsets using the same Meta Horizon operating system that powers its Quest headsets. Zuckerberg said that while Apple “has basically won” the phone market with its closed ecosystem, Meta’s move aims to ensure that “an open model defines the next generation of computing.”

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