Why Should Consumers Be Excited about the Samsung Gear VR?

The new and (slightly) improved “Samsung Gear VR” from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) is scheduled to be released to the public on August 19, and the reviews are in. The new Samsung Gear VR is not a complete makeover of the version introduced last year, but rather a tweak. The changes are subtle.

The viewing angle is a bit wider than the previous version. There’s a more intuitive Home button on the side to help you quickly and easily get out of virtual reality (VR) and back.

When Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. first announced the release date of the new Samsung Gear VR, it reported that the headset would be included for free when customers pre-ordered the new “Galaxy S7” and “Galaxy S7 Edge.” So, clearly it was designed for these new smartphones. But Samsung has included USB ports in the headset to make them compatible with many of the company’s devices, including the “Galaxy Note7,” Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, “Galaxy Note5,” “Galaxy S6,” “Galaxy S6 Edge,” and the “Galaxy S6 Edge+.”

According to Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2016 VR sales in 2016 should reach $1.0 billion, with some $700.0 million of that coming from devices like the Samsung Gear VR. Because Samsung has some 20% of the global market for smartphones, they could potentially sell up to three million units of the Samsung Gear VR in the next 12 months. (Source: “VR Sales Data We Can Count On,” HyperGridBusiness, January 2, 2016.)

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. trades on the South Korean Stock Exchange for the equivalent of about $1,400 a share. With 2015 annual revenues the equivalent of some $182.5 billion, an incremental increase in sales attributable to the Samsung Gear VR isn’t likely to be a big driver of Samsung stock in the near term.


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