Huawei Xiaomi embraces Google's "daydream": or lose control of the VR industry chain

Not long ago, Google released a bunch of products at the O/I Developer Conference, and it is worth reading Daydream. Here, Google plans to build the latest VR technology for the next version of Android, and wants to put VR technology into the Android system. At the same time, Google has also launched mobile phone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, HTC, Huawei and other mobile phone manufacturers to cooperate with this plan. Let future Android phones support VR.


Therefore, Google has produced a VR glasses as a reference design, and is also working with manufacturers to make VR headsets with mobile phones as screens. Huawei's millet vendors are also happy to embrace Google as a "daydream" to support Google's VR program, which will provide screen and performance support for Google's "daydream". Google’s head of Krebewo said that Google will put the “daydreaming” software into the “N version of Android” mobile phone, and the manufacturer will be responsible for creating a mobile phone that can support more advanced images. At that time, the user can connect the mobile phone to the Daydream VR headset, and the VR mode can be turned on, and the mobile phone becomes the terminal of the VR experience.

VR division of labor has been very obvious, Google continues to be a platform, mobile phone manufacturers stand in the middle and lower reaches for performance and hardware adaptation support

Because of the lack of an independent operating system, domestic mobile phones and Samsung are attached to Google's Android system, so that Google wants to build VR technology in Android, and there is no way for a number of mobile phone manufacturers to cooperate with Google. However, Samsung always has its own thoughts and always hopes to develop its own operating system. For example, it is currently developing a new operating system for IoT devices. At this year’s Samsung Developer Conference, Samsung also said it is developing wireless and dedicated VR. Device, it does not need mobile phone support to work on its own. HTC recently announced the launch of the Vive X Accelerator Program and initiated the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Virtual Reality Industry Alliance (APVRA). It also wants to establish an ecologically integrated industrial chain for the VR platform. Relatively speaking, domestic manufacturers have much less ambitions in this regard.

In general, Google once again occupied the commanding heights of the VR industry chain with the Daydream platform and began to move toward the ecological prototype. Huawei Xiaomi and other mobile phone manufacturers cooperate with hardware performance, developers and entrepreneurs are responsible for content links, Google has also begun to refactor YouTube from the bottom, producing VR video; in addition, Google Street View, Play Store and Google Photos will be the first to introduce VR version application.

Google also cooperates with Hulu, CNN and many other content providers. It also conducts trial and error and layout on helmets and glasses, and draws VR hardware manufacturers together to develop a series of new VR devices and controllers. Google is also here to extend the advantages of the Android system, docking with VR gameplay, one side of the Daydream platform is connected to the mobile phone manufacturer, and one end is connected to the VR hardware vendor and VR software developer. In the platform mode, the APP may have VR mode, Huawei millet and other manufacturers. Can become the "Quasi-VR mobile phone" manufacturer of Google Daydream.

The division of labor here is already very obvious. Google continues to be a platform vendor. Android mobile phone manufacturers are standing downstream to perform performance and hardware adaptation support. Google’s growth must involve important players in the Android camp, but once the smartphone VR becomes popular, the pattern will be It has been basically confirmed that Google has become the platform provider in the upstream of the industrial chain, controlling the underlying infrastructure of the operating system and becoming the core platform provider. A number of mobile phone manufacturers are standing in the middle and lower reaches of the industry chain.

As the VR industry grows and VR consumer users grow, Google's population dividends are increasing, and the underlying support capabilities of the system are getting stronger and stronger. The mobile phone manufacturers responsible for performance and screen support will occupy the market in the early stage. , eat the demographic dividend, but in the later stage will gradually lose the hardware advantage and the first-mover advantage, and finally the competition in the smart machine market may still be the same as the previous homogenization competition.

Mobile phone manufacturers' VR dispute, the future may still be Apple's two major system platforms

With VR blessing, Android vendors will make a qualitative leap in gameplay, but whether it will break the balance between Android and iOS is still a question mark. Obviously, there are indications that Apple's VR layout is also very obvious. In the past few years, Apple has successively acquired companies specializing in facial recognition (Faceshift), real-time 3D motion capture and augmented reality technology (PrimeSense) ), and has a lot of talents in VR. Its play may also be optimized with the iOS system, the layout of the underlying system, the VR operating system platform, and the VR function embedded in the iPhone.

Recently, Indian Bollywood actor Emraan Hashi saw Cook, who was visiting India. He hinted on Twitter that Apple's virtual reality products are coming soon. Industry speculation that Apple may announce at the WWDC conference next month.

We know that the domestic mobile phone is due to the lack of operating system, resulting in a brand premium is not high, the industry chain is not strong control, in the high-end market has not been able to equal with Apple, to some extent, Huawei Xiaomi has embraced Google "day "Dream" is almost equal to giving up the opportunity to control the VR industry chain and enhance the brand premium. Because as mentioned above, from the current layout of Apple's layout, Apple's gameplay is almost similar to Google's, playing the platform of the industry chain, for the iPhone's life, VR grafted to the mobile APP. The VR battle of mobile phone manufacturers will still be the dispute between Apple and Google.

Domestic mobile phone manufacturers embrace Google's VR strategy: brand premium, R&D costs and demographic dividend considerations

However, it is very strange that domestic mobile phone manufacturers have been emphasizing the ecological strategy and Internet thinking in the mobile phone field for the past two years. The author has pointed out that under the circumstances that the underlying advantages of the operating system are lacking, the so-called eco-platform strategy is a pseudo-ecological, but when the VR industry broke out, few people mentioned the eco-platform strategy, and they once again turned to Google.

Of course, it is not unhelpful for domestic mobile phone manufacturers to become a part of Google's big strategy again. They can claim to be the first partners of Google's VR strategy, and they can also get the first-mover advantage of the VR experience on the Android camp. Of course, domestic mobile phones also have their own marketing purposes, such as Lei Jun previously said on Weibo, Xiaomi took the lead in becoming the high-end manufacturer of VR function support in Android7.0 "daydream". They believe that embracing the Google VR program can boost their brand premium.

On the other hand, it is also a consideration of cost investment, because it is clear that VR's platform construction, industrial chain integration, and R&D investment costs are huge, which is a high-risk thing. Xiaomi Huawei obviously has multiple considerations for not doing VR platform.

At present, Xiaomi Huawei has begun to deploy VR hardware. For example, Huawei has launched VR glasses and announced that it is already in the layout. At the beginning of this year, Lei Jun announced at the annual meeting of Xiaomi that he would build a millet exploration laboratory to enter the field of artificial intelligence robots and VR. Not long ago, Xiaomi VR's Weibo was quietly launched, which means that Xiaomi will also lay out the VR industry.

However, it is obvious that the two are not clear about the prospective trend of the VR game technology industry chain. For domestic mobile phone manufacturers, there is no advantage in the construction of VR technology and system platform. It is more secure and less risky to follow the footsteps of Google. Things are also relatively convenient ways to learn. They are also worried that once Google Daydream promotes the VR experience in the consumer group, if it is just an outsider and a bystander, the consequences are even more unimaginable. According to the experience of smart phones, an industry has a huge demographic dividend when it first appeared. Seizing the previous demographic dividend is conducive to quickly occupying a large number of users to take the first-mover advantage. In the VR field, the idea of ​​domestic manufacturers should be that after occupying the industry's first-mover advantage, it will also quickly spread the shipments, almost for its own decline. The mobile phone business brought the second spring.

Mobile phone manufacturers can play with some imaginary space in combination with VR, but packaging VR new selling points and concept hype may be more important

At the same time, in the VR field, many mobile phone manufacturers use the same operating system, the same gameplay and unified supporting VR hardware devices, and then will soon fall into a homogenous competition. As mentioned above, Google's "Daydream" provides system underlying architecture support for VR operations. Huawei's Xiaomi users are all VR-enabled adapter terminals. They do not involve the development and integration of VR software and hardware industries, so they are in the industry chain. Only playing the role of a hardware manufacturer, docking the underlying operating system and software developers, then this will lose the control of the industrial chain.

In fact, the VR industry was originally an area where smartphone manufacturers could play a sense of the future, because at present, VR technology is not mature, standards are not unified, and software and hardware fields lack real players in the real sense, while VR industry The chain is more complicated than the mobile phone, and the vertical subdivision is more, involving content producers, VR software, games, film and television, and integrating a certain segment of the industry, there will be huge imagination.

At present, VR's gameplay is not limited to mobile phones, and even does not rely on mobile phones. Then its imagination is that it can be self-contained without relying on giants. For example, Facebook's gameplay is to make the layout of the application content + hardware + e-shop + social ecosystem. Tencent is also planning to build its own VR hardware and software products, extending the layout system of games and social. Sony is also building its own VR ecosystem. In the era of smart phones, Sony chose to embrace Android. Sony fell into a quagmire of homogenization and price wars. In the VR era, Sony began to return to the technical track and began to focus on technology and The system has been developed and currently has a proprietary system for PlayStaTIon VR.

In other words, VR has many ways to play, domestic manufacturers can access their own content providers and hardware developers, and build content production platforms to attract developers. Mobile phone manufacturers can go to the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain to do their own platform ecology.

In particular, for the benchmark enterprise that has a large number of users and a certain industry's right to speak, for Huawei Xiaomi, if you go ahead and do the underlying adaptation of VR interactive technology, and provide it to the VR hardware manufacturer that adapts to the mobile phone in the form of SDK or After content developers are ready to do the underlying technology, it is very likely that the distributed hardware will be integrated with the content providers to create a proprietary VR system.

And even if the domestic manufacturers are subject to the operating system, they can still have other styles. For example, it can be a relatively closed VR content software production platform, attracting developers to settle in their own platforms through an incentive mechanism or a profit mechanism; through self-research, cooperation, or docking VR software, game developers, in the field of VR content games, film and television, etc. It is an important method to increase the added value of the brand for your mobile phone by making an explosion of the VR explosion game or the exclusive grafting of the content on your platform and mobile phone.

But in fact, we know that many mobile phone manufacturers have consistent routines and thinking. It is not important to do VR. It is not important to establish standards, upgrade technology, and bring unique experiences and content. What is important is how to In the shortest time, it brings a new concept of VR to mobile phones, and packs it into a new selling point, which will quickly promote the sales of new machines. Joining Google Daydream has the lowest cost and the fastest effect.

Therefore, in the near future, we will see that many manufacturers claim that the so-called VR black technology has appeared in various ways. But in fact, if you can truly invest in the independent research and development of emerging VR technology in the spirit of a craftsman, and be free from the people in the upstream of the industry chain, preemptively occupy the control of the platform system in the vertical field of VR, or through the unique differentiated competition. The route will gain a competitive advantage, and domestic mobile phones will truly have their own way out.

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