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VR & AR headset market on track for triple-digit growth, says IDC.

Sales of VR and AR headsets are

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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Date:Jun 4, 2017
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