However, an optimistic forecast from IDC thinks sales will grow 57% CAGR to reach 100 million units in 2021 led by Sony Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive.
IDC thinks AR will be a bigger deal than VR because consumers are very likely to have their first AR experience via a mobile phone or tablet rather than a dedicated headset, and Apple’s recent introduction of ARKit further supports this.
“It is very clear to us that augmented reality is the larger of the two plays here when looking at AR and VR combined,” says IDC’s Ryan Reith, “companies like Microsoft, Epson, Intel, Meta, ODG, and DAQRI are already providing devices that are being deployed in real-time commercial projects with significant ROI. The list goes well beyond that of other companies which have either deployed or are readying for deployment of similar devices. We believe that many industrial jobs will fundamentally change because of AR in the next 5-years, and these are much more opportunistic markets for dedicated AR headsets than the consumer market. We expect commercial shipments to account for just over 80% of all AR headsets shipped in the next 5 years.”