Samsung Losing Ground In VR/AR Due To ‘Obsession’ With Foldable Tech


Company’s like Apple and Meta are leaving Samsung in the virtual dust.

According to a new report by The Korea Herald, Samsung is steadily losing its position within the VR/AR space due to its unhealthy “obsession” with foldable smartphone technology.

In 2019 Samsung unveiled its first commercially-available foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The Android-based device received mixed reception ahead of its release later that same year. The device garnered praise for its innovative design along with stark criticism for its low durability.

Samsung Galaxy Fold / Image Credit: Samsung

Recent market data indicates that the VR/AR market is set to skyrocket over the next several years. By 2024, we could be looking at a roughly $300 billion industry. While company’s such as Apple and Meta have already begun the development of their own dedicated XR devices, however, Samsung has continued to focus on expanding its lineup of foldable smartphones.

“Big tech companies, rather than smartphone manufacturers, are leading XR devices because they have the necessary content and platforms,” said Kim Gwang-soo, an analyst at eBest Investment and Securities, adding, “Google has an operating system Android, Microsoft has Xbox and Sony has PlayStation. It’s risky for Samsung to roll out XR devices, so it has no choice but to stick to foldable smartphones.”

Concept art of Apple’s XR device / Image Credit: The Information

According to a recent report by market tracker Counterpoint Research, Samsung held its position as the number one global smartphone provider in 2021 but only grew its overall sales by 0.9% on-year whereas its competitors, Apple and Xiaomi, grew 25.5% and 32.5% respectively.

Samsung’s decision to overlook immersive technology in favor of the dwindling smartphone market could spell disaster for the company down the line. Apple has already stated that it plans on replacing its lineup of iPhone devices with dedicated AR and VR headsets within the next 10 years, pointing towards a dramatic shift within the smartphone industry.

Samsung Galaxy Lite / Image Credit: Samsung

That said, Samsung has at least made several steps towards improving its XR technology. This past November the company invested in the California-based XR glasses manufacturer DigiLens. We also caught a glimpse at a pair of fitness-focused AR glasses called Samsung Glasses Lite during CES 2020, but have received little to no information since.

It would be a shame to see the company that brought us the pioneering Gear VR fall to the wayside. Hopefully, Samsung will have more to share about its VR/AR offerings in the coming months.

Feature Image Credit: Samsung

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