18 March 2017
Augmented and virtual reality headset market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 58%, according to IDC. The market tracker says that global AR/VR headset market will ship 100 million units in 2021.
Revenue of VR headsets can grow to $18.6 billion in 2021 from $2.1 billion in 2016, while AR headset revenue is expected to jump to $48.7 billion from $209 million, stated IDC. Market share for commercial headsets is expected to increase from 38.5% in 2021 from 20.1% in 2016, with consumer market share is expected to decline to 61.5% in 2021 from 79.9% in 2016.
"2016 marked an important step for the AR and VR headset market with product finally arriving in end users' hands and on their heads," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Augmented and Virtual Reality team. "While there was clear demand coming primarily from technology enthusiasts, what became readily apparent were the use cases for enterprise users across multiple verticals and for consumers with gaming and content consumption. This sets the stage for the multiple aspects of the market that device makers, platforms and content providers, and developers will be addressing in the months and years to come."
AR headsets which due to their high cost remain a minority in the market are expected to generate more revenue. Low-cost VR headsets which start at $100 could potentially harm the headset market as they give could potentially disappoint first time VR users.
"On the other hand, due to the sophistication of the hardware, most AR headsets are expected to cost well over $1000," continued Ubrani. "This makes the technology far less accessible to consumers initially, though that's probably for the best as the AR ecosystem and wide social acceptance are still a few years away."