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Meta, Apple & Sony Facing VR Battle As Sales Slump Over 40%

As Meta cranks out a new VR headset, the company could be facing headwinds with sales falling over 44% this year.

The two big players are Sony with their PlayStation VR for PS5, and Meta, however IDC research is tipping possible growth next year.

Meta remains the leader in the market, having held a 50.2% market share during Q2, however Sony isn’t far behind, having held a 27.1% share. ByteDance was in third place with a 9.6% share.

IDC said, “Worldwide augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) headset shipments declined for the fourth quarter in a row as volumes fell 44.6% year over year during the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23. Downward pressure from the global economy has curbed demand while the negative impact of a price hike on the popular Quest 2 headset combined with aging hardware from multiple vendors to further hobble growth in this market.”

Standalone headsets took over while smartphone-based viewer headsets including Samsung’s Gear VR have almost completely disappeared.

IDC forecasts that the market will rebound next year with a 46.8% growth fueled by the launch of Apple’s Vision Pro headset. New hardware was released by Meta today in competition with Apple.

Research Director for Mobile Devices and AR/VR at IDC, Ramon T. Llamas said, “The AR/VR market is at a critical point in its short history. Apple’s entry next year will bring much needed attention to a small market, but it will also force other companies to compete in different ways. For some, it means meeting Apple head-to-head with similar features and applications. For others, it means guarding their specific market segments. In some cases, it will be both. Still, this will provide users with greater choice and comparison, and eventually the definition for best-of-breed will take on new meaning going forward.”

IDC expects annual sales to climb to 30.3 million units globally by 2027, with 20 million being standalone headsets, and 10.3 million being tethered headsets.

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