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Samsung Announces a New Virtual-Reality Camera

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With competition continuing to heat up in the handset market, Samsung Electronics is relying heavily on virtual reality to help distinguish its smartphones.

The South Korean manufacturer, which is the world’s largest phone maker by units, on Sunday announced two new Galaxy smartphones along with Gear 360, a camera for recording virtual-reality videos. The company made the announcements at the Mobile World Congress, one of the tech industry’s largest events for mobile products, held in Barcelona.

Read also: Samsung agrees to pay $548 million settlement to Apple

The Gear 360 accompanies Samsung’s Gear VR, the virtual-reality headset that the company developed with Facebook’s Oculus, which was released in November.
The Gear 360 has two cameras — one on the front and one on the back — to allow consumers to shoot 360-degree videos. The videos can then be viewed through the Gear VR, which works only with Samsung’s Galaxy phones.
With the lack of new phone features, Samsung is betting hard on virtual reality to help maintain its lead.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Samsung had 21.4 percent of the smartphone market, followed by Apple with 18.7 percent, according to the research firm IDC. Notably, the Chinese phone maker Huawei grew unit sales by more than a third to grab 8.1 percent market share.
Samsung did not reveal price details on the new products. The phones will be released on March 11 in the United States, and the Gear 360 will be available later this year.
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