Google, Samsung and Qualcomm join forces to counter Apple’s future headphones

At the end of the conference dedicated to the Galaxy S23, Samsung announced that it was preparing “for future XR experiences” (for Extended Reality). The Korean brand is counting on Google and Qualcomm to help it design its future product.

Long before the Meta Quest Pro, there was the Samsung Gear VR. The helmet of virtual reality from the Korean brand, launched in partnership with Oculus in 2015, was undoubtedly ahead of its time. Unsurprisingly, Samsung quickly put this range aside to refocus on its smartphones.

At the dawn of the VR revolution, orchestrated by Meta, HTCBytedance and most likely Apple, Samsung certainly blames itself for having given up. 1er February, on the occasion of its Unpacked conference dedicated to Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Book 3, the brand has announced the upcoming arrival of a “Samsung XR product”, designed in partnership with Google and Qualcomm. It’s hard not to see an anticipation of Apple’s upcoming announcements, even if its product seems far from ready.

Samsung wants to replicate the success of its smartphones in virtual reality

At its Unpacked conference, Samsung didn’t really announce anything. The product mentioned seems far from finished, it is only “declarative” as TM Roh, the boss of Samsung Mobile, confessed.

However, what is interesting is how Samsung made its announcement. Rather than going it alone, explaining to develop a helmet, the Korean manufacturer decided to talk about an alliance. Its first helmet designed for “the XR experiences of the future” (hear “Extended Reality”, which includes virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality) will be the result of a partnership between three companies who know each other very well:

  • Samsung, who will manufacture the material. It’s no surprise, Samsung has factories, knows how to make screens and excels in the art of hardware. .
  • Qualcomm, which will take care of chips and embedded technologies. It’s no surprise that Qualcomm already equips headsets from Meta, Pico and HTC. It also supplies smaller brands, such as the French Lynx mixed reality headset.
  • Google, which will offer an operating system and applications adapted to the XR. For once, it’s a surprise. Several VR headsets currently available run on a version derived from Android, but none is entitled to an OS developed by Google.
Representatives of Qualcomm, Samsung and Google at Unpacked 2023. // Source: Capture Numerama

Why ally with Google, which has not yet proven itself in virtual or mixed reality? Probably because Samsung is trying to replicate the success of its smartphones, which work the same way (Qualcomm for the chips, Google for the OS). The Korean hopes that Google will catch up quickly, in order to take advantage of its future ecosystem.

In an interview at washington postTM Roh also explained that he was also open to future collaborations with Meta and Microsoft. The strategy seems clear: to make Samsung the open alternative to Apple, when the Californian launches its headphones later this year.

For further

Imaginary rendering of the Apple headphones, based inspired by the AirPods Max. // Source: Ian Zelbo / Twitter

When will the first product from Google, Samsung and Qualcomm arrive? Hard to say, although it’s highly likely that nothing will be shown until next year. Be that as it may, by positioning themselves so early, the trio gives itself the means not to be erased by the Meta/Apple duopoly the day the iPhone manufacturer announces its product. This does not mean that Samsung will succeed in catching up on virtual reality, but this announcement has the merit of informing us about the work of Google, of which no one was aware. Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer talked about ” I’Internet space ». This is the first time that Apple’s neighbor has mentioned this technology.

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Google, Samsung and Qualcomm join forces to counter Apple’s future headphones

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