Vodafone is to release its own VR device alongside the Smart platinum 7 to mark 10 years of Vodafone devices.
Little is known about the network’s first Vodafone branded virtual reality device - The Vodafone Smart VR headset except that works as an accessory to the Smart Platinum 7. Suggesting that it will function similarly to Samsung and LG’s VR offerings which both launched at Mobile World Congress and rely on a handset to function.
When asked why they’ve chosen to develop their own virtual reality headset, a spokesperson told Mobile, ‘We see VR as one of the most interesting trends this year. There is an increasing amount of really impressive content available using the Google Cardboard ecosystem. Playing this content requires a lot from the handset, in terms of display quality or processing power – all delivered by the new Smart platinum 7. But VR is best experienced with a full head-mounted headset, which is why we developed this accessory for consumers.’
However, when asked what role VR would play in their retail strategy, the retailer suggested that they would not be stocking a wider range of devices, ‘We don’t have plans to develop VR headsets as a separate consumer product category, or invest into our own media platforms or technical standards. Our role is to make the latest innovation accessible to a broader range of users.’
Though Vodafone currently lists the Samsung Gear VR headset online, it is out of stock both on the website and in stores across the UK.
The headset will initially be given away for free with every Vodafone Smart platinum 7 purchases when the device launches on 20 June. The outright cost will be £300 per month or £28 per month with 1GB data (500MB free roaming), unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
The strategy of giving away the VR device with a handset purchase is the same as Samsung used with its Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 edge launches, where those who pre-ordered received the Gear VR for free.
Patrick Chomet, Group Director of Terminals at Vodafone, commented on the offer stating “I am particularly excited about the Vodafone Smart platinum 7, which makes premium smartphone design and technology more attainable, so many more Vodafone customers will enjoy streaming everything from HD TV to virtual reality over our fast and reliable 4G+ networks.”