Industry News

AR & VR Headsets Market Share

The worldwide AR/VR headset market returned to growth after a year of decline as global shipments during the first quarter of 2019 reached 1.3 million, up 27.2% from 2018Q1. Despite an expected downturn in the market for Screenless Viewers, the overall AR/VR market continued to grow due to the surge in Standalone HMDs and Tethered HMDs.
VR headsets represented 96.6% of the entire market and altogether grew 27.2% from the previous year. Meanwhile, shipments for AR headsets grew 1.9% during 2019Q1 and reached 43.2K. Top VR headset makers included Sony, Facebook, HTC, Pico, and 3Glasses. On the AR front, Epson, Lenovo, Vuzix, Google, and RealWear were the most popular during the quarter.
VR Company Highlights
Facebook's tethered Oculus Rift faced a decline during the quarter as the product reached end of life status. The updated Rift S made in partnership with Lenovo will be available in 2019Q2 and should help Facebook's tethered VR solution return to growth. Meanwhile, the Oculus Go continued to push forward and gain traction in both the consumer and commercial segments.
Pico, a Chinese company, once again made its way into the top 5. The company was one of the first to offer standalone VR headsets and has focused on the Chinese market. However, in recent quarters, the company has also begun to expand into Western Europe and USA, primarily chasing the commercial segment.
3Glasses, another Chinese company, has also focused on the home turf though their products are limited to tethered VR headsets. While sales to end consumers have been growing, the majority of 3Glasses' sales have been targeting commercial users.

AR Company Highlights
Epson's Moverio lineup continues to grow and the company recently even announced a headset that can be tethered to a smartphone. Though most Moverio headsets are destined for the commercial market, Epson does offer a consumer-friendly version as well that's designed to be used with drones, allowing the user to experience the point of view of a drone.
Lenovo's shipments mainly consisted of the Star Wars Jedi challenges headset and this has been in decline for the second time in a row. However, Lenovo recently announced their ThinkReality standalone AR headset which will compete against the Hololens. IDC remains fairly optimistic regarding this headset as Lenovo is offering a complete solution including software and hardware.
Vuzix recently announced consumer-grade hardware; the Blade. While this has helped the company capture some of the headlines in the news, the M300 has been their primary seller and remains focused on the enterprise market.
Google and RealWear, both tend to target a somewhat similar market that's focused on providing information to workers in a handsfree fashion. Google's built-in camera does lend the device to a few more advanced use cases.