VR Headset Market Doubled In 2021
Google’s focus on the metaverse has led to the worldwide market for augmented and virtual reality headsets almost doubling within twelve months.
The market grew 92.1 per cent in 2021, to hit 11.2 million units worldwide, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly AR/VR Headset Tracker. 78 per cent of these were Meta’s Quest 2 headset, with its closest competitor being DPVR, whose success in Asia saw them capture 5.1 per cent of the global market.
“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 competitors 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 continue to expect headsets from the likes of Apple and other smartphone vendors to eventually launch and garner a lot of attention from end users.”
As the graphic above shows, headset shipments are expected to race in the coming years, forecast to grow 46.9 per cent this year, with double-digit growth through 2026 as global shipments surpass 50 million units.
“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.”