It’s been a relatively slow start sales-wise for virtual-reality headsets, let alone augmented-reality devices. However, research firm IDC remains confident that the market for both will grow at a pace in the coming years.
The company has published its latest forecasts, predicting that combined AR and VR headset sales will grow from just under 10m units in 2016 to nearly 100m in 2021.
Of those 2016 shipments, 7.4m were consumer-focused VR headsets, and just 52k were consumer-focused AR headsets. By 2021, IDC expects those numbers to increase to 49m and 4.1m respectively – although as usual with these kinds of forecasts, by that point, nobody will be looking back to see whether the company was right.
Which way Apple turns, for example, could have a massive impact: if the company decided to launch an iPhone-powered AR headset in, say, 2019, expect the AR forecasts to be considerably reworked.