AR and VR headset market achieve 9.4% growth: IDC

The Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headset market grew 9.4 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2018, according to IDC.

The VR headset market returned to growth in Q3 2018 after four quarters of decline. The VR headset market makes up 97 percent of the combined market.

VR headsets market rose 8.2 percent to 1.9 million units in the third quarter – driven by both the consumer and commercial markets.

“On the consumer front, the combination of lower prices and increased content is beginning to resonate with users. Meanwhile, commercial adoption is also on the rise for a range of use cases, including training, design, and showcasing,” Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

Screenless viewers such as Samsung’s Gear VR fell 58.6 percent as product discounts and availability have dried up.

Some of Samsung’s latest phones exaggerate the issue as they are not compatible with the current version of the headset.

Other prominent brands such as Google and Alcatel have also significantly scaled back their efforts.

Standalone headsets grew 428.6 percent and accounted for 20.6 percent of the VR headset market.

Facebook’s Oculus Go and Xiaomi’s Mi VR shipped nearly a quarter million headsets.

Tethered VR headsets surpassed 1 million units. Sony shipped 463,000 PSVR headsets followed by Oculus with 300,000 and HTC with 230,000.

Oculus is the top vendor in the overall VR headset market thanks to the popularity of the Go as well as the Rift, capturing 25.9 percent of the entire VR market. Oculus shipments were 491,000 during the quarter, excluding the Xiaomi Mi VR.

The global AR headsets market grew. Lenovo is the number one AR headset market by shipping 23,000 headsets thanks to the popularity of the Star Wars Jedi Challenges headset for consumers.

Microsoft’s Hololens AR headsets lost momentum.

“The VR market is entering a new stage of maturity, where companies are setting aside the unrealistic expectations around explosive market growth and are focused instead on building more sustainable businesses,” said Tom Mainelli, program vice president, Devices and Augmented and Virtual Reality at IDC.