Worldwide shipments of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets nearly doubled in 2021, growing 92.1% over the previous year, according to a new AR/VR market report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
The research firm said that the holiday quarter drove much of the growth, accounting for nearly half of the 2021 volume as total shipments for the year reached 11.12 million units.
The most popular product was Meta’s Quest 2, which garnered just over three-quarters (78%) of the market. In a distant second place was DPVR, a popular product in Asian countries, which had 5.1% of the global market. ByteDance’s Pico VR products were third with a 4.5% share.
The research firm expects broader commercial adoption as well as new entrants to drive the AR/VR market to new heights in 2022 and beyond, with a 35.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2026.
“Augmented reality headsets continue to represent a small fraction of the overall AR/VR headset market and the volumes we do see are happening almost exclusively on the commercial side of the business,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC group vice president, device & consumer research, in a prepared statement. “Consumer AR is still largely the domain of smartphones and tablets and will likely remain so in the near term. Meanwhile, discussion of the Metaverse is driving hype—and investment—around AR, VR, and a host of adjacent technologies, but we don’t expect this frothy behavior to impact headset volumes any time soon.”