Laura Banks
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Laura Banks in Markets and everything in & between!,

New Samsung device spooks Apple investors

Samsung, Oculus team to bring virtual reality to the Galaxy family

Samsung is teaming with Facebook’s Oculus to bring virtual reality to its devices for the first time.

The accessory, known as Samsung Gear, will be exclusively compatible with Samsung’s 005930, +1.77% new 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4.

The South Korean electronics giant unveiled the device Wednesday at its Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin, a week ahead of Apple’s hotly anticipated Sept. 9 iPhone event in Cupertino, Calif.

Shares of Apple AAPL, -1.22% fell 4.36% from all-time highs to $98.94 on Wednesday, erasing $26 billion of the company’s market capitalization in one day.

Gear serves as an adapter, essentially turning the phablet into a virtual-reality 3D screen. Based on the Oculus Rift, the adapter represents a potential breakthrough for the mobile gaming market, transforming a smartphone into a hands-free virtual-reality “brain.”

The Android phablet also features a fingerprint scanner and Super AMOLED display, similar to the Galaxy 5, which Samsung introduced earlier this year.

Analysts have questioned whether the 5.7-inch note will compete with the larger-screen iPhone 6, widely expected to have a 5.5-inch screen.

Samsung has long maintained a competitive edge in the larger-screen market. Its Galaxy 5 has a 5.1-inch screen, while the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display.

Facebook FB, -1.11% bought Oculus for $2 billion in March.