During his rundown of Apple's Q3 earnings in today's conference call, CEO Tim Cook praised Pokemon Go and reaffirmed the company's investment in the burgeoning AR space.
Cook, who adorably mispronounced the game as "Pokey-man," referred to Niantic's mobile sensation as "a testament to what happens with innovative apps." He affirmed his belief that "AR can be huge," and that Apple has been "and will continue to invest in this."
Apple's CEO was delighted by the fervor Niantic's app continues to rouse in consumers as it expands to other countries such as Japan. Delighted, but hardly surprised. Apple's been laying groundwork for a bigger focus on augmented reality for a while. Back in 2015, it acquired Metalio, a small startup famous for building AR tools such as one for Ferrari that gives prospective buyers a virtual tour of vehicles.
Earlier this year, Apple scooped up Flyby Media, another AR outfit. Flyby worked alongside Google to develop Project Tango. an app that scans three-dimensional objects ranging from fruit and hats to posters and buildings, and adds them to a global database to help devices learn to view the world around them.
Not far removed from the AR-VR space, Apple acquired Emotient back in January. Emotient made a name for itself by writing an app that analyzes facial expresses to gauge a person's mood.
Cook made it clear that he does not view AR as a separate platform, but one best suited for existing devices like smartphones and tablets. Of course, he would say that, considering how much money his company has raked in from IAP sales of "Pokeyman" Go.
In more bittersweet news, Apple's stock gained momentum despite another decline in iPhone sales.