Apple’s headset launch next year to challenge Meta in AR-VR market

Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset has remained immensely popular as the global shipments for VR headsets jumped 241.6 percent during the first quarter of 2022

Meta (formerly Facebook) which has a 90 percent share in the virtual reality (VR) headset market is set for some tough challenges and all eyes will be on Apple as it launches its first headset next year, a new report has said.

Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset remained immensely popular as the global shipments for VR headsets jumped 241.6 percent during the first quarter of 2022, according to an IDC report.

When it comes to Apple, “while it is tempting to imagine the company shipping high volumes, keep in mind that this is its first headset that will appeal primarily to a small audience of early adopters and Apple fans,” said Ramon Llamas, research director with IDC’s Augmented and Virtual Reality team.

Further iterations will likely show evolution that will grow by leaps and bounds.

“In the meantime, companies like Meta and Sony already have a strong installed base and pent-up demand that they can tap into. Altogether, this is a strong driver to push the market forward,” Llamas said in a statement late on Thursday.

While Pico has largely operated within China’s borders, it has maintained a presence in many global markets though this has primarily occurred in the commercial segment.

DPVR, HTC, and iQIYI rounded out the top fine companies with less than 4% share combined.

“Meta continues to pour dollars into developing the metaverse but the strategy of promoting low-cost hardware at the expense of profitability isn’t sustainable in the long run,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers.

“The good news is that the upcoming productivity-oriented headset from Meta will serve as the starting point for the company’s pivot towards higher revenue-generating hardware,” he added.

VR shipments are forecast to grow further in 2022 as volumes for the entire year are expected to reach 13.9 million units, up 26.6 percent.

However, 2023 will serve as a crucial year for the VR industry (and by extension, as well) as next-generation headsets from Meta, Pico, and Sony are expected to launch alongside with a headset from Apple that is expected to provide a mixed reality experience.

Source: Business Standard

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