Oculus Rift’s display is really just a Galaxy Note 3 front panel


iFixit performed a customary teardown of the second-generation Oculus Rift developer kit this week, and upon removing the headset’s LCD display, they discovered something unexpected — an actual Galaxy Note 3 front panel, complete with Samsung logo and cutouts for a headset speaker and home button.

We already knew that Samsung was suppling Oculus — which is now owned by Facebook — with displays for its exciting virtual reality unit, but we assumed they were simply LCD screens made especially for the device. Instead, the South Korean firm has simply handed over a bunch of Galaxy Note 3 front panels instead.

“This seems to make economical sense,” iFixit explains, “since Oculus is working to ship something like 45,000 DK2s—a goodly number for a mid-development prototype, but certainly not enough to warrant a fully custom display.”

You can’t see the Samsung logo or the bezel around the display when it’s inside the Rift, of course, because a rubber cover conceals its edges. But that cover is easy to remove once the display is taken out of the device. We can only assume that the Rift will have its own display when it finally goes on sale to consumers later this year.

By then, however, Samsung may not only be supplying displays for the Rift but also competing with it. Rumor has it the company is working on a virtual reality headset of its own dubbed Gear VR, which could be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 4 at IFA 2014 in Berlin next month.