Samsung’s upcoming XR headset, which is meant to compete with Apple Vision Pro, has been delayed by “one to two quarters” from its reported early 2024 release target, according to an SBS Biz (Korean) report.

Samsung announced in February it was developing an XR headset in partnership with Qualcomm and Google, the former supplying the device’s chipset and the latter the headset’s operating system.

The report maintains that Samsung Electronics recently notified its display manufacturing partners Samsung Display and China’s BOE that it’s postponing the release of “existing XR devices.”

Samsung was reportedly hoping to ready samples of the headset by year’s end, aiming to mass produce the device starting early next year. That’s apparently been delayed by about “one to two quarters,” or three to six months.

Quest 3 (left) and Apple Vision Pro (right) | Based on images courtesy Meta, Apple

SBS Biz cites an official familiar with Samsung’s internal affairs, maintaining the decision to delay was made in direct response to Apple Vision Pro, which was unveiled early last month during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.

“We decided to review all internal specifications and performance, such as the design and display of the new XR product,” the official told SBS Biz.

SEE ALSO
The Apple Effect: Magic Leap Founder's Previous Company Launches App on Vision Pro

Provided the report holds true, it will be interesting to see Samsung shoot for the high-end, which is where Apple’s $3,500 mixed reality headset is undoubtedly headed when it launches sometime early next year. While it wasn’t clear when Samsung announced the headset earlier this year, it makes more sense the Korean tech giant would rather compete somewhere in the premium XR headset market with Apple than compete with Meta’s upcoming Quest 3 mixed reality headset, slated to launch in Fall 2023 for $500.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.


Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    yeah, nobody cares.

    • Dawid

      About you.

    • Nevets

      If you make any more low-effort comments, I’m going to give you a 48-hour ban. Of course some people care.

      • ViRGiN

        Nobody cares about those people.
        Just get a second valve index already. You know there can’t be possibly anything better.

  • Considering GearVR and Odyssey, which were quite successful for their period of time, such a headset from Samsung can be much more successful than from Apple, even in the premium segment.

    • ViRGiN

      Excuse me, what success?
      Gear VR was successful on paper cause they gave it away for free.
      Odyssey might have been a success not for vr fans, but Oculus haters.
      It was absolutely horrible product and anyone saying differently can’t be taken seriously

      • I did not just specify that this is relevant for a certain period of time. GearVR was a very handy headset in the days of cardboard. The Odyssey was one of the best WMR headsets, also in its time.

        Considering this VR experience of Samsung and Apple’s complete lack of experience, it is quite logical that Samsung has more chances in the same conditions.

        • ViRGiN

          No, they don’t. Samsung just made cardboard out of plastic and was fully dependent on Oculus for tracking and software. That partnership it’s over.
          On PC they used WMR, that is dead too.
          So what are they going to do now? Standalone Android headset with their own store with nothing relevant? Pcvr headset with nothing to offer and running his steamvr giving valve all the real profit?

          The only value here in Samsung is if they can secure partnership with Meta, like Lenovo had. Rift S wasn’t a bad product, pcvr was. So i don’t see them going that way either.

          It seems like it will be exactly for the kind of people who always give benefit of the doubt when it comes to HTC products.

          • What people overlook is that PCVR, for all intent & purposes, is dead.
            It’s the general public’s perception [and cash!] not people like you & me,
            that determine success in a consumer electronics space.

            And as far as this general public’s concerned, Apple just invented VR a month ago.
            NOBODY is buying a PCVR title.
            NOBODY is developing a PCVR title.
            Well, the superpassionate are, but the vast majority are not.

          • ViRGiN

            PCVR is not dead!!
            I’m using it to develop quest software “taps forehead*

          • Nevets

            “And as far as this general public’s concerned, Apple just invented VR a month ago.”

            This probably nails it

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Oh please, Apple didn’t “invented VR a month ago”, in reality it’s just a beefed up Quest 2…. And the separate battery us still a big nono, so it sure isn’t “a single visor”.

          • ViRGiN

            ok

          • Nevets

            WHOOSH!

          • kraeuterbutter

            they also most likley will not deal with games…
            so for gamers (which is big part of VR) the apple headset is- beside of its price – not realy interesting at all

          • Guest

            You are really starting to sound like a Meta employee now.

          • ViRGiN

            You sound like you moderate 12 discords and 5 subreddits, and you have time to do that cause you’re on unemployment benefits.

        • I see your point, but you’re forgetting one thing: “But, Apple!!” lol
           ♥️

        • XRC

          The big shame with Odyssey is that it never released in Europe. asked Samsung representative directly and was told simply “not part of product range”.

          Thankfully got to try Odyssey at Samsung experience store in London (kings cross) on amazing Fanatec full motion rig (worth cool £50K) spent an hour in Project Cars 2.

          Bright display, great contrast/colours and inky blacks, slight screen door like Vive Pro (same Samsung display panels).

          • kraeuterbutter

            i owned the samsung odyssey too…
            it had a coating on the panels, which make the SDE less visible.. but added some blure instead..
            it was not a bad headset, the best WMR-headset at that time
            and maybe the best headset for that price at that time

          • XRC

            Interesting how different individuals perceive displays. The Odyssey I used was the original not the plus with its diffuser. From user reports of odyssey plus, mention of slight blur (smoothing effect) some preferring the original despite more noticeable s screen door effect.

            Index also uses a display diffuser (microcrystalline) but it’s Boe LCD were RGB type with considerably higher sub pixel density and fill factor, Samsung panels used in Vive Pro and odyssey were oled pentile.

            Front Valve’s product page for index

            “The headset’s dual 1440×1600 RGB LCDs provide 50% more subpixels than OLED, resulting in greater sharpness for the same rendering cost. In addition, the fill-factor is three times better than OLED, greatly reducing “screen door” effect.”

      • Actually, I’ve always heard that Odyssey’s quite popular in the GEN.01 PCVR space.
        Users would always moan about how they wish Samsung’d make an “Odyssey 2”.
        Are most of those endorsements based in anti-Meta sentiment …?
        I couldn’t tell ya, at least not right this second: it’s too hot outside to think. lol

        You Europæns are lucky! I talked to a guy in England the other day.
        I ask how he is and he says he and his family are dying from the heat.
        I ask him what the temp is and he says: 72° [22°C] ….
        I amost fell off me couch …. lol
        72° is a pleasant late Spring day!! I’d kill for 72° today!!

        • kraeuterbutter

          i owned the odyssey+ (and liked it at that time)
          replaced it with an Index.. index head same resolution, but 3 instead of 2 subpixel..
          nevertheless the screendoor-effect was slightly more visible on the index because of that coating of the samsung odyssey+
          (the + version had that coating)

          i also had a rift for short time, used a rift-s
          own a vive, Index, the quest1, two quest2, g2 and the pico4, also a pimax 5k oled
          so: i like the Meta-headsets.. and still i liked – at that time – also the odyssey+
          so iam not “anti-Meta”

          • ViRGiN

            And all you can say is screen quality?
            Ignoring horrible tracking, horrible controllers, horrible audio?

      • foamreality

        There have been very little improvements in VR since Odysee, and the high cost for those small increments has not really been worth it for users or VR headset makers.. Samsung knew this was going to happen years ago so they just stopped. They know we need a big change in tech before VR takes off. It hasn’t happened yet. Apple are faking it. Samsung will deliver in time.

        • ViRGiN

          Long story short Meta perfected inside-out, and the necessary switch to standalone was caused by gaybens loyality to exclusively buy from steam lead to all previous predictions to be thrown out of the window due to power constraints. Samsung is not a company anyone should put any faith into. When they deliver, then they deliver, until then, everything they ever announce VR-related is dead before arrival.

    • foamreality

      Samsung have been very good at VR products in the past. I expect them to make the first game changing device. AVP is not it.

  • Nevets

    Could this really be true? Surely AAA companies like Samsung don’t just react on the spot to a product announcement whose specs were rumoured for more than a year in advance and presumably predicted by Samsung with a high degree of confidence? This sounds amateur enough to be BS… Though given that rumours about delays are pretty much 100% accurate I expect that bit of the story is true!

    • another juan

      The idea sounds ridiculous, but is catchy. Apple’s marketing must be loving that narrative.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Of course it can be true, and it is actually pretty likely to be true. For one there is a lot of precedence, with companies and esp. Samsung rushing to implement their own version of Apple products and interface changes. Obviously pretty much all phones today follow the design concepts of the original iPhone, and we have seen many hasty implementations just to be able a similar looking functionality to what Apple had just shown for the latest iOS version, because customers start asking for those.

      In this case delaying isn’t a problem at all. This is Samsungs (re-)entry into XR, so there is no schedule to keep or predecessor to replace for customers waiting for an upgrade. The high price of the AVP already limited the number of buyers, and now it seems that the technical complexity and component availability harms yields in a way that Apple will only be able to even build less than half a million in 2024. So Samsung delaying by six months doesn’t give Apple a big advantage where they could already capture significant parts of the market, while prematurely launching an HMD that might be perceived as not competitive would seriously harm the long term perception of potential buyers.

      Samsung will probably use the extra time not to significantly alter the hardware, but instead mostly improve the interface, which was what impressed even XR veterans with its highly intuitive usability. Basically I’d expect them to copy the AVP UI, something they have done lots of times with iOS already. It took people only a couple of days to implement similar interfaces in Unity for the Quest Pro, which provided many of the same benefits. So overhauling a currently less advanced interface on the Samsung XR HMD could give their device a huge boost in perceived level of sophistication without requiring expensive hardware redesign. Assuming they already had implemented eye and hand tracking and ETFR, which is very likely. At most they might remove expensive features they included as a unique selling point against the yet unknown AVP that now turn out to be superfluous, similar to Meta dropping the depth sensor from the Quest Pro at the last minute, still leaving the empty space where it was supposed to go. All that wouldn’t require fundamentally altering the product, which would indeed be difficult due to long development cycles.

      And Apple is actually trying to get Samsung or LG to become a second source for the micro OLED displays currently only manufactured in very limited numbers by Sony. So a delayed HMD could still easily beat Apple simply by Samsung already having the production capacities to create millions of the displays they intended to use for their own device. With a delay they may technically launch half a year after Apple, but could still outsell them by a large margin in the first few years with a sufficiently similar offering just by being able to meet the demand.

      • Guest

        I wouldn’t count on it being much cheaper than the AVP. Strong sources said they wanted to match Apple in terms of display specs. Something to note here is that Samsung does not have competitive microOLED technology (forced eMagin acquisition), which is why they’re rumored to go to Sony for the same displays (minus custom Apple sauce). Now if you remember, the displays in the AVP are by far the most expensive component, costing $700 in raw costs. This will not be any different for Samsung. From that news alone, I would not expect this to be any less than $2500. And you must also remember that Samsung is a hardware maker and must make its margin on it, and cannot subsidize it the way Meta might for their own due to owning the store, platform, and data collection and harvesting mechanisms. For Samsung, that all goes to Google instead.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          I can’t see Sony providing the displays with AVP production being restricted by Sony’s manufacturing capacity, and Sony refusing to expand their facilities. And when eMagin showed their Steamboat 4K MicroOLED display at DisplayWeek 2022, they said that (besides Valve) a large partner was involved. I assumed that to be Apple, though now Samsung seems more likely. I don’t know how far they are from mass production, but after the acquisition in 2023, eMagin said that Samsung’s resources would primarily be used to bring production up to scale. So by now they could have been working on bringing up the process for at least two years.

          Underbidding AVP is a must, as Samsung/Google cannot provide the integration of content/services like AppleTV+ or iMessage. AFAIK GoogleTV doesn’t provide any self-produced content, and Google utterly failed to establish a messaging client, so whatever they come up with will offer less features than AVP. The Samsung HMD will also be based on XR2+ Gen 2, significantly slower than M2 plus R1, allowing only for a lower passthrough/display resolution.

          Underbidding also shouldn’t be hard. AVP build costs are estimated to only be USD 1600, with a huge margin on top, possibly to reduce demand due to display production limits. And the simpler SoC and probably lower camera resolution and reduced number of sensors should reduce Samsung’s build cost further.

  • gothicvillas

    I didn’t think Samsung would be competing with Apple.. I hoped Samsung would have much more affordable HMD which would be competing for completely different market segment.

  • Another article that looks like a veiled advertisement for Apple. I can guess what kind of computer it was written on.

  • xyzs

    Apple pushing the competition to do better… that’s exactly why I wanted them in :)

  • Ardra Diva

    Samsung is most capable here. Gear VR was excellent for its time and the app store absolutely dwarfed the Oculus/Meta store in size and most importantly in free content, because Samsung made a commitment. For… 3 years. Then, they moved on. A shame because it had an experience not that far below a Rift at that time, and without a lot of the hassles or need for a gaming PC. Fond memories of that platform. Still haven’t seen a reason to upgrade my Quest 2 at this point. It’s so flexible.

  • It may have been delayed because they realised that Apple is still 3 years away from selling a mainstream, cheaper version. Apparently they can only produce 150k (max) next year and they’ve pushed back their cheaper version until 2025/6. So why would Samsung rush in that situation? Also remember that Apple demonstrated a high end wearable TV. There was no display of fully immersive experiences probably because can’t run they well at that resolution.