Augmented and Virtual Reality Headsets Expected to Grow at a 5 Year CAGR of 108.3%, According to IDC’s Newly Launched AR/VR Tracker

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ARVR–International Data Corporation (IDC)
is excited to announce the launch of its newest Tracker®
research program focusing on the emerging Augmented Reality (AR) and
Virtual Reality (VR) headset market. The first data published by the Worldwide
Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker
focuses on
OEM market sizing in the third quarter of 2016 (3Q16) and covers a wide
range of products, technologies, form factors, and geographies. The
historical data was accompanied by a five-year forecast that offers
fresh insight into some of the leading trends in this new and evolving

“IDC’s Tracker research programs have long proven to be the industry
standard for market sizing and forecasting,” said Ryan
, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide
Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers
. “It is with great pleasure that we
are now able to publish a robust database covering the AR and VR headset
markets. The teams have been working on AR and VR technologies for over
two years, so being able to finally bring the results to our clients is
truly gratifying.”

Worldwide AR and VR headset shipments are expected to see a compound
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 108.3% over 2015-2020 forecast period,
reaching 76.0 million units by 2020. The more affordable VR
devices will continue to lead the market in terms of volume. However,
IDC expects AR headsets to pick up momentum over the forecast as more
affordable technologies and more OEMs enter the market. IDC is currently
tracking three categories of headsets: Screenless viewers, such as
Samsung’s Gear VR; tethered head-mounted displays (HMDs), such as the
HTC Vive; and standalone HMDs, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens.

“2016 has been a defining year for AR as millions of consumers were
introduced to Pokemon Go and, on the commercial side, developers and
businesses finally got their hands on coveted headsets like Microsoft’s
HoloLens,” said Jitesh
, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “AR
may just be on track to create a shift in computing significant enough
to rival the smartphone. However, the technology is still in its infancy
and has a long runway ahead before reaching mass adoption.”

“Augmented reality represents the larger long-term opportunity, but for
the near term virtual reality will capture the lion’s share of shipments
and media attention,” said Tom
, program vice president, Devices & AR/VR. “This year we saw
major VR product launches from key players such as Oculus, HTC, Sony,
Samsung, and Google. In the next 12 months, we’ll see a growing number
of hardware vendors enter the space with products that cover the gamut
from simple screenless viewers to tethered HMDs to standalone HMDs. The
AR/VR headset market promises to be an exciting space to watch.”

Worldwide AR/VR Headset Shipments, 2016 and 2020 (shipments
in millions)
Product Type     2016 Shipments     2020 Shipments     5 Year CAGR
VR Headsets     10.1     61.0     100.7%
AR Headsets     0.1     15.0     196.4%
Total     10.3     76.0     108.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality
Headset Tracker, December 15, 2016

Table Notes:

  • The table represents shipments of Augmented Reality and Virtual
    Reality headsets only. Any additional software, services, or compute
    devices (e.g. PC, game console, smartphone, etc.) are excluded.
  • Shipments of simplistic headsets that do not have any technology built
    in are excluded. Examples of such headsets include Google Cardboard
    and other Cardboard-like devices.
  • IDC defines Screenless viewers as headsets that lack a display and
    instead rely on the display of a smartphone. As mentioned above, this
    would exclude Cardboard, and Cardboard-like devices.
  • IDC defines Tethered HMDs as products that rely on another compute
    device to be fully functional. These headsets may be tethered via a
    wired or wireless connection. Examples include HTC Vive, Oculus Rift,
    Garmin Varia Vision.
  • IDC defines Standalone HMDs as products that are fully functional
    without the need to be connected to another compute device. Examples
    include Microsoft’s HoloLens and Epson Moverio.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide
shipments of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets is available here.
The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social
media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this
press release on

About IDC Trackers
products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor
share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than
100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research
processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and
monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly
excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone
Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data, and marketing services company. To
learn more about IDC, please visit
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Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
Ubrani, 416-673-2214
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