Samsung Electronics is planning to rebrand its Gear VR series of virtual reality headsets and will replace the previous name with a “Galaxy VR” moniker, SamMobile reports, citing sources close to the South Korean tech giant. The development comes shortly after the firm refiled its old “Galaxy Watch” and “Galaxy Fit” trademarks, suggesting it may also be considering a wearable rebranding effort, thus further consolidating its flagship product brand.
Originally launched in late 2015, the Gear VR family hasn’t been refreshed since last September when Samsung introduced the SM-R325 model designed for the Galaxy Note 8, though that particular variant was nearly identical to the SM-R324 released alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus over a year ago. The newly introduced Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus Android flagships are both compatible with the 2017 Gear VR lineup and Samsung has yet to provide any indication of a 2018 model being in the works. It’s presently unclear whether the Galaxy VR series is meant to debut this year, with the latest report only indicating that the rebranding will take effect with the introduction of the next VR headset from the Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer. The product family should still be powered by technologies from Facebook’s Oculus, much like the previously released gadgets were.
Samsung touted VR capabilities as one of the main selling points of its 2016 and some 2017 Android flagships but started reducing that marketing focus since the debut of the Galaxy Note 8 last summer. During the Galaxy S9 launch event held at MWC 2018 in late February, the company barely reference VR at all, having instead provided other optional accessories such as the DeX Pad with much more time in the limelight. The Galaxy Note 9 set to be introduced in the coming months is widely expected to feature another Super AMOLED display with a QHD+ resolution, thus offering similar VR capabilities to those of its predecessor, though the Galaxy S10 lineup has previously been rumored to feature 4K support.