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17 Jun 2017

Worldwide Shipments of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Headsets Expected to Grow at 58% CAGR with Low-Cost Smartphone VR Devices being Short-Term Catalyst, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 19, 2017 – Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) continue to gain momentum in the mainstream tech media. According to recent forecast data from the International Data Corporation, (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, dedicated AR and VR headsets collectively are expected to grow at a very strong pace from just under 10 million units in 2016 to just shy of 100 million units in 2021, with a 5-year CAGR of 57.7%.

VR headsets have led much of the device volume to date. Within that category, screenless viewers (VR headsets powered by a smartphone), which are the cheapest available form factor, have been leading the charge. The second half of 2016 saw a ramp up in volume from three highly publicized market leading VR device products - the Sony PlayStation VR, the HTC Vive, and Facebook's Oculus Rift.

“The next six to 18 months will further stimulate the VR market as PC vendors, along with Microsoft, introduce tethered headsets and high-end standalone VR headsets also enter the market,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “With lower hardware requirements on the PC and lower prices on headsets, VR will be more accessilbe than ever before. And the introduction of additional motion tracking and hand tracking will help further blur the line between digital and physical reality.”

In terms of dedicated devices, AR continues to sit slightly in the background of VR. The reason for this is not that AR is less important, but rather it is harder to achieve. IDC believes VR headsets will continue to lead in terms of volume throughout the forecast, but maintains that AR in general will have a much bigger impact overall on the industry. Consumers are very likely to have their first AR experience via a mobile phone or tablet rather than a dedicated headset, and Apple's recent introduction of ARKit further supports this.

IDC belives the large opportunity for dedicated AR headsets exists in the commercial segment. A huge level of interest and investment is happening as we speak around vertical markets such as healthcare, manufacturing, field service workers, and design. Supporting this is a wide range of products, some of which are commercially available, but most are from non-household names.

"It is very clear to us that augmented reality is the larger of the two plays here when looking at AR and VR combined,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "Companies like Microsoft, Epson, Intel, Meta, ODG, and DAQRI are already providing devices that are being deployed in real-time commercial projects with significant ROI. The list goes well beyond that of other companies which have either deployed or are readying for deployment of similar devices. We believe that many industrial jobs will fundamentally change because of AR in the next 5-years, and these are much more opportunistic markets for dedicated AR headsets than the consumer market. We expect commercial shipments to account for just over 80% of all AR headsets shipped in the next 5 years."







Worldwide AR and VR Headset Shipments, Segment Share, and CAGR, 2016 - 2021

Product Category

Segment Group

2016 Units

2016 Share

2021 Units

2021 Share

CAGR

(2016-2021)

Augmented Reality

Commercial

110,512

68.0%

20,454,138

83.3%

184.1%

Augmented Reality

Consumer

51,946

32.0%

4,114,598

16.7%

139.7%

Total AR Headsets

162,458

100.0%

24,568,736

100.0%

172.9%















Virtual Reality

Commercial

1,838,109

19.9%

18,141,736

27.0%

58.1%

Virtual Reality

Consumer

7,399,326

80.1%

48,963,827

73.0%

45.9%

Total VR Headsets

9,237,434

100.0%

67,105,563

100.0%

48.7%

Source: IDC Worldwide AR/VR Headset Tracker, June 19, 2017



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About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad. The IDC Tracker Chart app is also available for Android Phones and Android Tablets.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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Coverage
Companies Covered

HTC Corporation, Facebook, Inc., Sony Corporation

Regions Covered

Worldwide

Topics Covered

Augmented and Virtual reality

Contact
For more information, contact:

Jitesh Ubrani
jubrani@idc.com
416-673-2214

Ryan Reith
rreith@idc.com
650-350-6242

Michael Shirer
press@idc.com
508-935-4200