Virtual Reality Devices to Ship 43 Million Units by 2020, with Mobile-Reliant Head Mounted Displays Foremost

Scottsdale, Arizona - 28 Jul 2015

​The early excitement surrounding AR and VR has prompted some substantial bets from major players, including Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and Facebook. Microsoft’s Hololens will likely be a major driver of consumer AR devices, while Google Cardboard will continue to be the first choice for an inexpensive VR experience (estimated to ship around 1.5 million units by then end of 2015), and will join Samsung’s Gear VR in driving mobile-reliant device growth. The Oculus Rift, along with similar devices like the HTC Vive or Sony’s Project Morpheus, will be dominant among tethered devices and will drive early growth, with their successors likely continuing that lead in the space. These tethered VR devices are forecast for the highest growth among VR device types (128% CAGR 2014 to 2020), but ultimately mobile VR devices will ship more units total (25 million in 2020).

Virtual Reality Devices as a whole are expected to grow rapidly over the next 5 years, with an average CAGR of 106% and combined shipments of 43 million in 2020. Augmented Reality Smart Glasses will experience similar growth, and ship 21 million units in 2020 with a CAGR of 78%. “Sales of VR Head Mounted Displays, including mobile-based devices like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard, as well as tethered devices like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus, will be driven by the release of high-profile devices and a growing awareness and interest in the technology from consumers,” says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Analyst.

“Use cases that were once specialized to a certain device type will begin to overlap as the market matures, and platform agnostic content like video will serve as a strong driver of growth for both platforms; verticals including education and industrial will see some use with these platforms as well, but will be more successful on an Augmented Reality device like smart glasses,” continues Abbruzzese. When comparing the AR and VR markets, use cases will be more exclusive with small overlap. VR will as a whole be entertainment focused, with video and gaming at the forefront; AR will be driven by more enterprise uses, with focuses in efficiency and safety in industrial, automotive, and logistics environments.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s new Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Gaming Technologies Market Research.This database includes updated research in the gaming market as well as novel research in the AR and VR markets.

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