Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Instant Analysis: Alphabet Has Shipped 5 Million Google Cardboard Units

By Evan Niu, CFA - Jan 27, 2016 at 2:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Google continues to test the VR waters with its affordable smartphone accessory.

What happened?
Alphabet's (GOOG -0.54%) (GOOGL -0.57%) Google has announced that it has now shipped over 5 million units of its Google Cardboard set. Launched in the summer of 2014, it wasn't immediately clear if Google Cardboard was a joke. The simple accessory turns Android phones into a makeshift virtual-reality headset by allowing users to hold the phone to their eyes.

The purpose of Google Cardboard was to allow users to enjoy immersive VR experiences at a fraction of the cost of a full-featured VR headset. The search giant now offers a few different models made by different manufacturers. Google says that over the past couple of months, users have installed 10 million immersive apps that utilize Cardboard. There have been a total of 350,000 hours of YouTube watched with Cardboard.

Does it matter?
Thus far, Facebook (META -1.01%) has made the biggest splash into VR with the high-profile acquisition of Oculus VR. The social network recently detailed pricing and availability, and the total cost including both the Rift headset and a high-end PC can easily reach $1,500. That price point will naturally limit the appeal of the technology to niche enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, Samsung partnered with Oculus to release the Gear VR, which functions similar to Cardboard. Gear VR will strap a Galaxy device to your face to emulate a VR experience as well. Gear VR recently had a price drop to $99.

But what Google hopes to accomplish is to give users a taste of what VR has to offer at an extremely affordable price point. To the extent that Google can slowly catalyze interest in the burgeoning technology, the better it is for any company that hopes to get in on the VR market.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$116.63 (-0.57%) $0.67
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$168.53 (-1.01%) $-1.72
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$117.50 (-0.54%) $0.64

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/10/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.