Led by Facebook, the global shipments of virtual reality (VR) headsets grew 52.4 per cent (year over year) in the first quarter of 2021, according to a new IDC report.
Standalone headsets, which feature an all-encompassing design such as the Oculus Quest 2 or the HTC Vive Focus, accounted for the vast majority of shipments, capturing 82.7 per cent share during the quarter, up from 50.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.
The growing popularity of gaming, as well as fitness, has helped spread consumer awareness of VR while companies like Facebook have made the tech more accessible, the IDC said in a statement.
“Oculus has singlehandedly driven growth in the market as the company managed to capture almost two thirds share of global VR headset shipments during the quarter,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s Mobile and Consumer Device Trackers.
“While the company currently dominates the consumer segment it faces competition in the commercial segment and its lack of presence in China leaves an opportunity for local brands as well as brands that can cater to businesses,” he added.
In addition to Oculus, Chinese companies DPVR and Pico also performed well during the quarter, finishing as the second and third ranked companies and growing 108.6 per cent and 44.7 per cent (YoY), respectively.
HTC and Sony rounded out the top 5 VR headset companies.
Looking ahead, IDC forecasts VR headset shipments to grow 28.9 per cent (YoY) in 2021.
The long-term outlook remains quite strong as global shipments are forecast to grow to 28.6 million in 2025 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41.4 per cent.
“As companies continue to plan for a future that encompasses a combination of both in-person and remote work, we see VR playing an increasingly important role in driving next-generation collaboration, training, and digital events,” said Tom Mainelli, group vice president, Device and Consumer Research at IDC.