The market for augmented reality and virtual reality headsets is still emerging, but it’s doing well, according to IDC. It grew 9.4% in the third quarter of 2018. Mainly in VR helmets, the growth of which is ensured by the launch of autonomous helmets and, in particular, the Oculus Go. The latter has enabled Oculus to become the industry leader ahead of Sony by increasing Rift sales.
IDC published its quarterly report on the virtual and augmented reality market on December 4. The company recorded 9.4% growth in the third quarter of 2018.
1.9 million VR helmets sold
Standalone VR headsets work without the need for a PC or smartphone. Their arrival on the market has compensated for the loss of speed of headset accessories for smartphones such as Samsung Gear VR or Daydream View. With 1.9 million headsets (all types) sold during the period, this is far from the market figures for smartphones or computers, but still represents an increase of 8.2% compared to the third quarter of 2017.
Smartphone headsets are disappearing
Smartphone headsets continued to decline, dropping 58.6%, reflecting Samsung and Google’s lack of investment in this category. The Korean manufacturer has long promoted the GearVR, offering it for free in the United States for the purchase of a next-generation Galaxy S, but seems to have rejected it for two years.
The Oculus Go and its Chinese counterpart reach 250,000 units sold
All-in-one headsets represented 20.6% of the market. The Oculus Go and its Chinese variant, the Xiaomi Mi VR, have sold almost 250,000 units worldwide. The PC headsets and consoles also worked well with more than a million units sold, which had only happened once in the past. Sony sold 463,000 copies of its PSVR; Oculus sold approximately 300,000 Oculus Rift headsets and HTC 230,000 Vive and Vive Pro headsets.
Oculus takes the lead ahead of sony with a market share of 25.9%.
By combining the sales of Rift and Go, Oculus has become the dominant brand ahead of Sony, with a market share of 25.9% and a total of 491,000 headsets sold (not including My VR).
The next version of Hololens is still pending.
What about augmented reality in all this? The market is also growing. Lenovo dominates with 23,000 units sold for its Star Wars Jedi Challenges, which uses a series of accessories combined with a smartphone. Even without this, the growth was 1.1% thanks to the products of Vuzix and Epson (for the business world). However, the slowdown on the HoloLens side as customers is waiting for the next model, which enters the market in 2019.