Yup, it’s another forecast piece – this time though, the future looks positive.

CCS Insight presents their own forecasts for the future of VR, which mirrors Deloitte and PwC in content and estimation. Some of their core findings include:

  • Global sales of smartphone VR headsets to grow fivefold from 2017 to 70 million by 2021
  • Sales of dedicated VR headsets to grow to 22 million units by 2021 — an 800% increase over 2017
  • 14 million smartphone VR headsets will be sold in 2017, rising to 25 million in 2018
  • The total VR device market (smartphone VR and dedicated VR) will be worth $1.5 billion in 2017, rising to $9.1 billion by 2021
  • The AR devices market is also off to a relatively slow start with the first significant unit sales won’t occur until 2019

Sales of smartphone virtual reality devices continue to deliver the lion’s share of unit volumes and CCS Insight expects that 14 million smartphone VR headsets will be sold in 2017, rising to 25 million in 2018. Future growth is underlined by an expected fivefold volume growth from 2017 to 70 million by 2021. The segment will be worth $500 million in 2017 rising to approximately $1.4 billion by 2021.

ccs_ww_vr_ar_forecast_february2017Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, commented: “Headsets designed for smartphones are the entry point for most consumers when it comes to virtual reality. Google’s Cardboard devices and Samsung’s Gear VR headsets have been the early market makers in this area. We expect the momentum to continue at Mobile World Congress next week, with Google’s Daydream headsets being a prominent part of many high-end smartphone launches”.

According to their press release, dedicated virtual reality headsets such as the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR deliver significantly higher-quality experiences compared with their smartphone VR cousins, but sales have been shy of expectations. CCS Insight has adjusted its forecast to reflect the slower start. Previously it expected 2 million units to be sold in 2016 – it now estimates 1.2 million were sold. By 2021 CCS Insight expects sales of dedicated VR headsets to grow to 22 million units — an 800% increase over 2017. This will result in the dedicated VR market being worth $7.7 billion by 2021. To add further granularity to its forecast, CCS Insight has also expanded its device segmentation to include both tethered and untethered dedicated VR solutions.

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