AR/VR Headsets See Major Decline as Mixed Reality Emerges
Augmented and virtual reality headsets experienced a double-digit decline over the last year. Worldwide, AR/VR headset manufacturers shipped 8.8 million units in all of 2022, down 20.9% over the previous year, according to a new report from market research firm IDC.
IDC said that in 2022, Meta owned nearly 80% of the market, with ByteDance coming in a distant second at 10%. "The remaining top 5 spots," according to IDC, "were held by DPVR, HTC, and iQIYI. One other notable company was Nreal, [which] captured the sixth position [among] AR/VR headsets but held the top spot in the AR market by shipping nearly [100,000] units over the course of 2022."
"While Meta and ByteDance duke it out in the VR segment, Nreal has been able to slowly grow its presence by appealing to mobile gamers," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC, in a prepared statement. "Though it's still early days for AR and VR, Meta has been able to build a moat for itself through its various first- and third-party content. This is where other players such as Sony and potentially Apple can provide meaningful competition, though in the long run it'll put pressure on others including ByteDance and Nreal."
"Another area that is slowly gaining attention is mixed reality — devices that can switch between augmented and virtual reality," added Ramon T. Llamas, research director for Mobile Devices and AR/VR at IDC. "The release of the Meta Quest Pro last fall and the announcement of HTC's XE Elite earlier this year demonstrate clear innovation as to what is possible for the AR/VR market, and it should not be difficult to imagine others following suit. Moreover, commercial users with multiple use cases – ranging from on-boarding and orientation to training and collaboration — may gravitate to its appeal. However, given the still low penetration of AR and VR into the market, it may take several cycles for mixed reality headsets to gain salience."
Further details can be found in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker.
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
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