metaverse-wearable-devices-‘could-be-as-big-as-phones,’-qualcomm-ceo-says

Metaverse wearable devices ‘could be as big as phones,’ Qualcomm CEO says

The company whose chips power Facebook’s Oculus virtual-reality headset has already tapped into the metaverse opportunity. Now Qualcomm’s CEO says glasses could eventually be as widespread as smartphones. 

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon knows smartphones well. The company’s main business is providing semiconductors for those devices. As Apple turns toward manufacturing its own chips for its phones, Qualcomm has been working on diversifying its revenue into products and services for the automotive industry, the Internet of Things — and the metaverse. They’re not new entrants into the market. 

“For all of the devices that are being commercially deployed, you have one thing in all of them — which is Snapdragon XR,” Amon told Yahoo Finance Live, referencing Qualcomm’s extended reality version of its main Snapdragon platform. “So we’re very excited about that opportunity, and it could be as big as phones, if you have companion glasses that you carry together with your smartphone.” 

Amon pointed to Facebook’s name change as one marker of success for that company’s XR device: “Even looking at how the company is now called Meta is a reflection of how successful Oculus has been,” he said.

Metaverse products were one aspect of the diversification strategy Amon laid out during Qualcomm’s investor day on Tuesday. He outlined how Qualcomm is working on reducing its reliance on Apple, and is targeting $46 billion in revenue by 2024, including $9 billion from the Internet of Things. 

SHENZHEN, CHINA - 2020/10/05: Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors sign seen on the screen of an OPPO Reno 4 Pro smartphone. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SHENZHEN, CHINA – 2020/10/05: Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors sign seen on the screen of an OPPO Reno 4 Pro smartphone. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Investors seemed convinced, bidding the shares up to a record following the presentation. Amon said the stock’s performance this year represents recognition of its “incredible technology.”

Of course, Qualcomm isn’t alone: the market for servicing the metaverse is becoming increasingly crowded. But there may be room for many participants. Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang recently told Yahoo Finance that the economy of the metaverse could be far larger than that of the physical world

Julie Hyman is the co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live, weekdays 9am-11am ET. Follow her on Twitter @juleshyman, and read her other stories.

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