What you need to know
- Samsung's new XR headset is set to debut later this year as a direct competitor to the Apple Vision Pro.
- One leaker says the headset should debut around $1,000, making it one-third of the price of Apple's headset.
- It costs Apple $1,500 to manufacture the Apple Vision Pro, so there's no telling how Samsung would achieve this price tag.
While Apple is ensuring that its top-of-the-line spatial computing headset retails for a top-of-the-line price, Samsung is allegedly going the opposite direction with the plans for its upcoming XR headset.
Different Samsung trademarks and patents have called this mysterious headset "Samsung Glasses" or "Flex Magic." Whatever it's called, though, it seems clear that Samsung wants to make its headset much more affordable than Apple's — $2,500 less, in fact!
One leaker says that Samsung is aiming to get the headset to market at around $1,000, which would be less than one-third of the price of Apple's headset. The $3,500 Apple Vision Pro debuts in stores on February 2, 2024, and it's unclear how many people will actually be able to afford it.
The first major VR headset that debuted for work-focused purposes, the Meta Quest Pro, originally retailed for $1,500 before dropping to $999 a few months after launch. While sales of that headset have never performed as well as the Quest 2 or Quest 3, Samsung and Apple seem to be focusing more on apps and the concept of "spatial computing" than Meta ever did with its Pro headset.
Samsung will use a brand-new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chipset in its headset — a supercharged version of what shipped in the Meta Quest 3 — enabling Samsung to push the boundaries of computing and camera quality on its upcoming headset.
But this chipset likely isn't as powerful as the Apple M2 chipset in the Apple Vision Pro, which could be one way that Samsung is launching its headset at a lower price than Apple. I'll be exploring this aspect of the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 more in-depth in my weekly thVRsday column later this week.
Apple recently announced that Vision Pro will be capable of running over 1 million iOS apps. Given that Google and Samsung are working so closely together to launch this headset, it's entirely likely that both companies are planning a similar app strategy.
Packing in the Google Play Store and Android app support out of the box would be a massive win for Samsung, as Meta continues to flounder in getting developers to port their Android apps to the Quest platform.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see what Samsung and Google announce whenever the headset is launched, which could happen in mid-2024.
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