Samsung Falling Behind Apple in AR/VR Space Due to 'Obsession' With Foldable Smartphones

Samsung is significantly falling behind in the rush to bring augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices to market, partially due to the company's "obsession" with foldable smartphones, The Korea Herald reports.

apple ar headset concept 1Apple mixed-reality headset concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

Samsung's main competitors, including Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and Sony, are developing or have already launched AR and VR devices amid massive industry-wide investments into the future of the technology, but it is unclear if Samsung is actively developing such devices at all. eBest Investment and Securities analyst Kim Gwang-soo said:

Big tech companies, rather than smartphone manufacturers, are leading XR devices because they have the necessary content and platforms. 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.

The growth of Samsung's smartphone business has slowed down to just 0.9 percent year on year, but the company remains committed to the potential of foldable devices to reignite momentum. Samsung shareholders are said to be concerned by its perceived preoccupation with foldable devices, which is distracting the company's attention from the need to compete with future AR and VR devices from its main rivals.


Market data indicates that the market for AR and VR devices will increase tenfold in the next three years, reaching a value of $300 billion in 2024, supported by over 70 million devices. In the long term, such devices are expected to partially replace PCs and smartphones, becoming mainstream IT devices. For example, Apple is said to be planning for its AR and VR devices to replace the iPhone in ten years.

Industry insiders claim that even if Samsung develops its own AR and VR devices, it lacks the content and platform to create a cohesive and compelling ecosystem. In an attempt to catch up in the race to make inroads into the AR and VR market, Samsung made a belated investment in DigiLens, a California startup that makes AR glasses.

To stay relevant, market observers are warning that Samsung may need to find a partner that already has content or a platform in exchange for chip expertise, similar to the relationship between Qualcomm and Microsoft. Qualcomm has partnered with Microsoft to move into the AR and VR space, on the back of its experience developing chips specifically for these sorts of devices. Qualcomm is now developing an AR chip specifically for Microsoft's AR glasses and helping it achieve a slimmer, lighter design by reducing the chip's energy requirements. Samsung could seek a similar arrangement with another stakeholder.

The report cited the recent announcement of Sony's PSVR2 and Panasonic's MeganeX headset at CES 2022 as examples of the progress of Samsung's competitors. Meanwhile, Meta is working on a new high-end VR headset with an array of sensors for tracking facial expressions, which is set to launch this year. Apple is reportedly planning to announce a mixed-reality headset as soon as this year, featuring a lightweight design, a processor comparable to the M1 Pro, 4K Micro OLED displays, motion-tracking, and more, but a recent report claimed that the device could now be delayed until next year.

Despite normally beating Apple to market with emerging technologies, such as OLED displays, foldable smartphones, and even ultra-wideband tracking devices, it looks as though there will be no Samsung device to rival Apple's headset when it finally launches.

Top Rated Comments

bollman Avatar
18 weeks ago
Or, Samsung, like me, don't think AR/VR will ever really see the huge market it's hyped up to have.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neilw Avatar
18 weeks ago
Alternate headline:
[HEADING=2]Apple Falling Behind Samsung in Foldable Smartphone Space Due to 'Obsession' with AR/VR[/HEADING]
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realdangerdan Avatar
18 weeks ago
Still can’t fathom why anybody would want a foldable phone. The durability will never get to where it needs to be for it to be to be anything other than a gimmick
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MajorFubar Avatar
18 weeks ago
Alternatively...
Apple falling behind Samsung in folding smartphone space due to 'obsession' with AR/VR
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
18 weeks ago
"distracting the company's attention from the need to compete with future AR and VR devices from its main rivals."

Can they not do two (or more) things at once? It seems illogical that a company couldn't make a car and an SUV or a phone, tablet, computer and watch.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Armada2 Avatar
18 weeks ago
They don't need to concentrate R&D on AR/VR they will wait for Apple to release it and then replicate it and change a bit of the design and launch. Saving costs on R&D.. simples..
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's AR/VR Headset Could Come With a Monthly Subscription Service

Friday February 18, 2022 2:27 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset could come with a monthly subscription service, according to a report from TrendForce. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a report forecasting the growing sales of AR and VR devices from major tech companies in 2022, TrendForce said that Apple's headset will likely be...
apple view concept right corner

Apple Planning to Replace the iPhone With AR Headset in 10 Years

Wednesday December 1, 2021 2:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to replace the iPhone with an augmented reality (AR) headset in 10 years, a process that is apparently due to start as soon as next year with the launch of a head-mounted device, according to a recent report. Concept render of Apple's rumored AR headset by Antonio De Rosa In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, eminent analyst Ming-Chi Kuo explained that "Apple's goal is...
apple ar headset concept 2

Video: Would You Pay $2000+ for Apple's AR/VR Headset?

Friday February 11, 2022 12:35 pm PST by
Apple hasn't come out with a new product category since the 2018 launch of the HomePod, and there hasn't been a new wearable since the 2015 debut of the Apple Watch. That's set to change in the not too distant future, as Apple's AR/VR headset is nearing completion and will likely see a launch in 2023. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Rumors about the first head worn ...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature orange

Kuo: Mass Production on Apple's AR/VR Headset May Be Delayed Until End of 2022

Monday October 18, 2021 9:05 pm PDT by
Apple may not begin production on its upcoming AR/VR headset until the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note sent out to investors. That would likely result in the device launching late in 2022 or in early 2023. Before launching the headset, Apple wants to have "complete software, ecosystem, and services," which Kuo cites as the reason why Apple ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple Reportedly Completes Production Tests for AR/VR Headset

Monday February 21, 2022 7:49 am PST by
Apple has completed key production tests for its long-rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset, according to DigiTimes. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Citing information from the headset's component suppliers, the device has reportedly completed second-phase engineering validation tests (EVT 2) to ensure that prototype units meet...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow

Foldable iPhone Could Finally Launch Next Year

Friday February 4, 2022 2:31 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored foldable iPhone could finally be released next year, according to multiple reports. According to display analyst Ross Young, who often provides accurate insights into Apple's plans, Apple could introduce its foldable iPhone in 2023, but he cautioned that 2024 is a more likely timeframe for the launch of the new device. Rumors about a foldable iPhone have died down in...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple AR/VR Headset Potentially Delayed Until 2023 Amid Development Problems

Friday January 14, 2022 8:10 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature purple

Kuo: Apple AR Headset Coming in Late 2022 With Mac-Level Computing Power

Thursday November 25, 2021 8:32 pm PST by
Apple's long-rumored augmented reality (AR) headset project is set to bear its first fruit late next year with the launch of the first device carrying a pair of processors to support its high-end capabilities, according to a new research report from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. According to Kuo, the higher-end main processor is said to be similar to the M1 chip Apple...

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...