Competition in the high-end smartphone virtual reality market is heating up in 2017 with Google’s Daydream platform emerging to offer an alternative to the established market leader, Samsung’s Gear VR. According to the latest forecasts from business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), Daydream View headset sales are forecast to jump from 120,000 in 2016 to 2.23 million in 2017 and will enjoy growing industry support from third-party smartphone vendors in the second half of 2017. While this growth is impressive, IHS Markit forecasts that Samsung’s Gear VR will remain the market leader in the high-end smartphone VR sector in 2017 with sales of 4.1 million.
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World Consumer VR Headset Sales: 2016 Actual vs. 2017 Forecast. Source: IHS Markit 2017
Samsung ended 2016 as the VR platform market leader due to its early mover advantage, high-quality VR experience and aggressive go-to-market strategy for Gear VR. However, the competitive landscape for VR headsets is unsettled and fast moving where newly released products from major competitors can quickly alter the balance of the market, IHS Markit says. Google Daydream’s impact on the market will take time to materialize as smartphone vendors get to grips with the high-end requirements for Daydream accredited phones, especially supply-chain pinch points such as OLED displays.
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The state of the VR market is one of many topics that leading experts will address at the first Media and Technology Conference by IHS Markit, in Los Angeles, on Wednesday, May 10. Accredited journalists may attend the one-day conference free of charge – at the Pacific Design Centre – by registering at the following event website: https://technology.ihs.com/Events/590411 and entering discount code MEDIA17.
Samsung’s Pre-Order Bundling Strategy for Galaxy S8 Becomes More Targeted
In 2016, Samsung used its Gear VR headset as a powerful marketing tool to promote sales of its Galaxy S7 smartphone and implemented appropriate pre-order bundling strategies across many sales territories. In 2017, Samsung has taken a more targeted approach retaining the offer for the launch of the Galaxy S8 in USA and Australia, but dropping it in a number of European territories.
“The arrival of competing platforms is playing out against a backdrop where Samsung has dialed down its previously aggressive pre-order bundling centered on its flagship smartphones and the Gear VR,” Harding-Rolls said.
With this change in strategy – partly driven by the Galaxy S8’s already clearly differentiated feature set – and the higher price point of the new Gear VR including motion controller, IHS Markit expects unit sales of Gear VR to decline year-on-year, although it will remain the biggest premium platform for VR content across the major brands.
IHS Markit forecasts that consumer sales of Samsung’s Gear VR will decline by 9.6 percent by year’s end, from 4.56 million in 2016 to 4.12 million.
Tech, media topics at upcoming conference
The May 10 IHS Markit conference will provide a holistic view of the consumer, technology and business trends that will define audio-visual entertainment landscape over the next five years. George Bloom, executive producer of CBS Digital, will deliver the keynote speech at the first-ever Media and Technology Conference, presented by IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO).
In addition to a talk on “VR Video – Monetizing the New Medium,” session topics presented by industry-leading speakers from an assortment of leading tech and media companies will include: “The Five Forces Shaping Entertainment for the Next Five Years,” “UHD: From More Pixels to Compelling Viewing?,” “Streaming & the Future of the TV” and “Selling Digital Content.”
About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)
IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.
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