VR & AR headset market on track for triple-digit growth, says IDC.
expected to show triple-digit growth for 2017, despite a cautious approach from
consumers, according to IDC.
The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality
Headset Tracker shows shipments of headsets reached 2.28m in the first quarter
of this year, up 70% from Q1 2016.
Sales were down from 3.86m in Q4 of last year, although with
many new products due to launch in the second half of this year, the analyst
company is forecasting triple-digit growth for the full year.
VR headsets make up the vast majority of sales, accounting for
98% of shipments in Q1 2017, or 2.24m units. AR headsets shipped 38,000 units.
In VR, two-thirds of all headset shipments were screenless
viewers, such as Samsung's Gear VR and Google's Daydream View. Meanwhile,
tethered VR headsets, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Sony's PSVR,
accounted for one third of the market.
"The VR market is still very young and consumers seem
to be taking a cautious approach," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research
analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "With plenty of headset options
already in the market and even more coming soon, hardware isn't the issue. The
bigger challenge is the slow growth in content that appeals to a mass audience,
combined with the confusion associated with a lack of cross-platform
AR headsets saw year-over-year shipment growth of 77.4% as
new products began shipping and existing headsets expanded distribution to
additional countries. "It's very early days in terms of augmented reality
headsets, with the vast majority of products shipping into the market focused
on getting hardware into the hands of developers," said Tom Mainelli, vice
president of Devices and AR/VR at IDC. "Meanwhile, we expect most
consumers to experience their first taste of augmented reality through the
cameras and screens of their existing mobile devices such as smartphones and
In terms of vendors, Samsung continues to dominate with its
Gear VR shipping highest volumes in the market, giving Samsung 21.5% of the
market. Samsung's large distribution network and its partnership with Oculus
were supporting this lead, and although shipments declined in part due to the
lack of complementing Note mobile handsets, the release of new products is
expected to drive new growth in future.
Sony has taken just under 19% market share, and its PlayStation
VR headset and the large install base of PS4 is likely to see it retain this
lead in the near term, Gartner said.
HTC, with 8.4% of the market, has also proven to be an
attractive proposition to high end consumers with the HTC Vive, and the vendor
has also been successful in commercial VR sales for environments such as VR
cafes. HTC has also supported the hardware with app store and subscription
model to support sales.
Facebook's Oculus Rift has secured 4.4% of the market, and
is expected to do more in future, while TCL, supplier of Alcatel VR headset
which is bundled with Alcatel Idol 4/s smartphones has around 4% market share.
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