Likewise, Snap’s Spectacles camera smart glasses continue to be updated and offered to the public, despite little indication that the product has gained much traction. The meager impact of Spectacles and the unlikely curiosity that is the Pixy may make it might seem like Snap is hopelessly addicted to expensive hardware experiments. All while the majority of its profit and market footprint is rooted in software.   

Snap is letting the public participate in its research and development

But what if you could combine the social media impact of Facebook with the mainstream hardware profile of Apple? You might have something that looks a lot like what Snap is building. Specifically, Spectacles and Pixy, each polished to perfection from packaging, to pricing, to marketing, may be practice runs for the company’s true hardware moonshot: a Snap smartphone. 

Currently, Snap relies on its friendly relationships with smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung, both of which it has partnered with on various Snapchat initiatives. When (not if) Snap finally decides to point its hard-earned hardware expertise at the smartphone market, those partnerships may not be as easy to come by.

As big tech’s leading mobile software and hardware companies, led by Tim Cook (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), and Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), have matured into less interesting establishment players, Snap founder and CEO Evan Spiegel’s small but interestingly agile moves toward the future hint that the next Apple could be gestating at Snap’s headquarters in Santa Monica, California. But Snap’s version would have the social media heft Apple lacks, and the good will and social media growth Meta is now struggling to maintain. 

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