Shares of Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) were moving higher today as investors responded favorably to the Facebook parent's launch of its new Quest 3 mixed reality (MR) headset, which comes just days ahead of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) expected reveal of its own MR headset.
As a result, Meta stock was up 3.4% as of 2:08 p.m. ET on Thursday on the news.
In an Instagram post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the highly anticipated device. Priced at $499, the new headset is 40% thinner than the Quest 2 and is said to be more comfortable and offer better display resolution.
The new device will be available this fall, and the company said more details would come at its Connect conference on Sept. 27. Meta also plans to lower the prices of its Quest 2 device.
The announcement seemed to remind investors that VR headsets could finally be ready for prime time, especially as Apple is expected to launch its own device at its Worldwide Developers Conference later this month.
Apple hasn't yet publicly commented on its headset, but a report by Bloomberg said it could carry a price tag around $3,000, clearly targeting a different market from Meta.
The VR headset market is still small with 8.8 million sold last year, according to IDC, and Meta is the clear leader with nearly 80% of that market. Apple's headset launch will be the first major test of Meta's leadership, but Meta has a clear first-mover advantage here.
Meta stock has soared this year, but shares are starting to look pricey, especially as growth has stalled due to a lull in the advertising market. But if the Quest 3 -- which blends aspects of the physical world with the virtual world -- catches on, the stock could easily have another leg up as investors seem to have been ignoring that emerging business.
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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jeremy Bowman has positions in Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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