Virtual Reality Headset Shipments Drop – Temporarily, At Least

Virtual reality headset shipments dropped more than a third (33.7%) in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2017, according to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC). Despite the drop, IDC expects improved results ahead thanks to the introduction of new products, including the Oculus Go and HTC Vive Pro, new brands, and the demand for improved headset fidelity.

The biggest contributor to the decline was screenless viewers, which fell from 1 million headsets in the second quarter of 2017 to 409,000 in the same period this year.

Virtual Reality Headset Shipments

On the other end of the spectrum, standalone VR headset shipments grew 417.7% during the quarter, thanks mainly to the global availability of the Oculus Go/Xiaomi Mi VR, which shipped 212,000 headsets.

Additionally, the commercial market for VR headsets has grown, comprising about one-fifth of sales in the second quarter, up from 14% during the same period last year. Additionally, average selling prices (ASPs) increased from $333 to $442 during the same period.

“One of the major issues with the VR market is that consumers still find it difficult to try a VR headset,” said Jitesh Ubrani IDC senior research analyst, in a prepared statement. “This is where the commercial market has an opportunity to shine. HTC’s recent partnership with Dave & Busters or Oculus’ work with schools around the world stand to play an important role in educating and enticing consumers to use VR.”

“In a market where mainstream VR content is still lacking, a growing number of vendors are looking to commercial as a way to build their business while they wait for the consumers to catch up,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC program vice president for devices and augmented and virtual reality, in a prepared statement. “These vendors are moving beyond entertainment-focused B2C deployments to real-world training scenarios in companies of all sizes, all over the world. IDC expects commercial buyers to represent an increasingly important percentage of the market going forward.”


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