Business Media Research & Intelligence group SuperData has released the sales figures from all the available virtual reality (VR) headsets on the market, and it comes with no surprise that Samsung Gear VR has taken a lead in Q1 of 2017, with 782,000 headsets sold. The firm also projects Samsung will have sold a total of 6.7 Million headsets by the time 2017 is over.
Released on April 21st of 2017, the 3rd version of the oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR is now armed with a Controller, which has taken the Experience to a whole new level. The release was strategically timed to be paired with the rest of the new-and-improved Samsung Galaxy lineup, featuring the new Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus, as well as the redesigned Gear 360 Camera.
Stephanie Llamas, head of VR/AR at SuperData stated that “A large portion of last year’s 4.5 million Gear VR shipments came from S7 pre-orders, so we anticipate the S8’s success will get even more devices into consumers’ hands.”
The fact that the S8 sales are outpacing those of its predecessor, the S7, bode well for the Gear VR, as Mobile Carriers around the World are using the Gear VR as a free bundle to assist in sales. All of this can only be good for the Virtual Reality Industry as a whole.
The Samsung headset’s direct competitor, the Google Daydream released in November 10th of 2016, is still suffering from having released a full year after the first version of the Gear VR. Again citing SuperData’s figures, Google reportedly sold 260,000 Daydream VR Headsets in its 7 weeks (Nov 10 – Dec 31) of availability in 2016. With Q1 of 2017 numbers available, Google has added a mere 170,000 units to that previous figure.
It is my opinion that there are a few factors for these numbers:
1- CONTENT: We have always said that Content is King, and Samsung has been incredibly aggressive in acquiring exclusive content for the Gear VR (and Oculus) Platform.
2- ADVERTISING: How many TV/Web/YouTube Ads have you seen for the Daydream Vs the Gear VR? We’ve spotted the Gear VR all over Billboards, Bus ads, etc, yet nothing from Google to match.
3- EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING: We have noticed that Samsung has made itself very accessible to Agencies for the purpose of being used for Experiential Marketing. This is a smart strategy, as it has placed the product and brand in consumer’s hands, allowing them to discover the wonders of VR through the Gear VR.
Until Google starts to put more emphasis on actually marketing the fantastic product that is the Google Daydream, it will keep trailing its Samsung counterpart.