VR Moves to PC and Console While AR Prepares for Long-Term Growth
Worldwide proliferation of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets is expected to continue as shipments reach 59.2 million in 2021, up from 9.6 million in 2017, according to IDC.
To date, the entire market has been propped up by low-cost VR screenless viewers such as the Samsung Gear VR. However, IDC anticipates this category will lose share as previous champions of the category scale back on their smartphone plus headset bundles and shift focus toward tethered and standalone solutions.
VR screenless viewers will account for 14.8% of the entire market in 2021, down from 58.8% in 2017. Over the course of the next few years, tethered headsets from the likes of Sony or Meta will account for the majority of shipments and in 2021 standalone headsets like the Oculus Go or Hololens will take center stage and account for almost half of the AR/VR headset market.
Traction for VR tethered and standalone VR headsets will not be limited to the consumer market as commercial shipments for these headsets will climb from 1 million in 2017 to 12.6 million by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, augmented reality headsets are on track to have a significantly larger impact in the commerical segment as shipments grow to 15.6 million in the same time period.
AR/VR Headset Market Share by Form Factor, 2017 – 2021