21 Mar 2022

AR/VR Headset Shipments Grew Dramatically in 2021, Thanks Largely to Meta's Strong Quest 2 Volumes, with Growth Forecast to Continue, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass., March 21, 2022 – The worldwide market for augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets grew 92.1% year over year in 2021 with shipments reaching 11.2 million units, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Headset Tracker. The holiday quarter was a major driver for the industry as almost half the annual volume was shipped during 4Q21, closing out a record year that hasn't seen similar volumes since 2016 when low-cost VR screenless viewers such as Samsung's Gear VR reigned supreme.

Meta's Quest 2 was by far the most popular product with 78% share of the combined AR/VR market during the year. In second place was DPVR, which has had plenty of success in Asian markets and captured 5.1% share globally. ByteDance's Pico VR products ranked third (4.5% share) and, like DPVR, is well position in Asian markets but has also done well in North America and Western Europe where it has helped fill the void left when Meta discontinued its Oculus Go. VR pioneer HTC and China-based online video platform iQIYI rounded out the top 5.

"Meta has led the AR/VR industry by offering a very accessibly priced headset and by moving beyond the core gaming audience, piquing the interest of non-gamers as well as businesses,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers. "The company still lacks major competiors though that will likely change over the course of the next twelve to 18 months when Sony will re-enter the space with the PSVR2, and we cotninue to expect headsets from the likes of Apple and other smartphone vendors to eventually launch and garner a lot of attention from end users.”

New entrants as well as broader adoption from the commercial sector will propel the market further as headset shipments are forecast to grow 46.9% year over year in 2022 and experience double-digit growth through 2026 as global shipments of AR/VR headsets surpass 50 million units by the end of the forecast with a 35.1% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR).

"Augmented reality headsets continue to represent a small fraction of the overall AR/VR headset market and the volumes we do see are happening almost exclusively on the commercial side of the business," said Tom Mainelli, group vice president, Device & Consumer Research at IDC. "Consumer AR is still largely the domain of smartphones and tablets and will likely remain so in the near term. Meanwhile, discussion of the Metaverse is driving hype—and investment—around AR, VR, and a host of adjacent technologies, but we don't expect this frothy behavior to impact headset volumes any time soon."

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.

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

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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 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, 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 tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.



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Coverage

Regions Covered

Worldwide


Topics Covered

Augmented and virtual reality


Contact
For more information, contact:

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

Ryan Reith
rreith@idc.com
508-935-4301

Jitesh Ubrani
jubrani@idc.com
416-873-0315