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Retrospective 2021: the figures of VR

For a few years now, the augmented/virtual reality market has been constantly increasing, reaching a 92.1% increase in 2021 with 11.2 million devices sold, while in 2020 only 5.5 million units were shipped.

Evolution of helmet sales in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Source : Counterpoint

So what was the best-selling headset? Well, according to IDC (International Data Corporation), it is the Meta Quest 2 with 78% market share. Its success is mainly due to its affordable price for both businesses and the general public (from €349). Meta has no competitor at this level for the moment, but Sony and Apple could soon offer very interesting products.

Indeed, Sony has announced a new generation of PSVR (virtual reality headset that plugs into the PlayStation), the first generation was released on the PS4. Sony promises an improved experience thanks to the computing power of its PlayStation 5.

Meanwhile, Apple is going to release Apple Glass, augmented reality glasses.

What are the forecasts for the next few years regarding the augmented/virtual reality market? It will all depend on the hit of the metaverse but for the moment it is estimated an increase of 46.9% in 2022 on the shipment of headsets. For a more distant future, the firm Counterpoint estimates that global deliveries of virtual or augmented reality headsets could increase tenfold in four years, from 11 million units in 2021 to 105 million in 2025.

Worldwide shipments of virtual and augmented reality headsets by type between 2016 and 2025 (in millions of units). Source : Counterpoint

Did you know? 26 million users around the world use Virtual Reality technology. North America is and will remain the largest market for XR (Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality) but Europe is a major potential market, it should experience relatively slow growth unlike China which is in full growth at this level, in particular thanks to the adoption of 5G.

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