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Apple Vision Pro publicity will help AR/VR headset sales to rebound in 2024

Upcoming Vision Pros could eliminate the need for specialized, attachable lens.

Worldwide shipments of augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets are expected to decline 8.3% year over year to 8.1 million units in 2023, despite the launch of new headsets during the year, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker

Sony’s PSVR and Meta’s Quest 3 have been well received but macroeconomic pressures on households combined with slowing spend in the commercial segments have put a damper on growth, according to the research group.

However, IDC says 2024 is shaping up to be a year of tremendous recovery as shipments of AR/VR headsets are expected to grow 46.4%. The return to form is thanks to a full year’s availability of Meta’s Quest 3 as well as Apple’s Vision Pro, which is expected to bring lots of attention but will likely ship fewer than two hundred thousand units in the year, adds the research group.

In contrast, Meta, the market leader in 3Q23 who captured 55.2% share, has already managed to ship over 10x Apple’s expected volume in the first three quarters of 2023 (prior to the launch of Quest 3) and will likely experience year-over-year growth in 2024, according to IDC.

The Apple Vision Pro, a US$3,499 (and up) Spatial Computer is due, in Apple’s words, in early 2024. However, it will likely only be available in limited quantities at first.

“While the new VR headsets are expected to drive volume, they also risk alienating some consumers as average selling prices trend upwards,” says Jitesh Ubrani, research manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. “The high price tag of the Vision Pro will likely relegate the device to businesses, while the Quest 3, which is more accessible, is also pushing the limits of consumers’ wallets making VR a delight for the affluent, particularly as production ramps down on older and more affordable headsets.”

Meanwhile, AR headsets are also expected to grow in 2024 due to the availability of lower cost tethered headsets from the likes of Xreal and Rokid, which tend to serve as monitor replacements while enhancing productivity or improving the media consumption experience. More sophisticated standalone headsets such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 or the Magic Leap 2 will continue to proliferate, though at a slower pace than tethered AR headsets. In total, AR headset shipments are forecast to reach to 845,000 in 2024, up 85.6% compared to 2023.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.

1 Comment

  • Personally I don’t think it will be that big growth. Apple makes the same mistake that the VR Vendors made before: They are too expensive, the cost structure of VR it’s completely broken.

    The other choice is to stick with Facebook, which have been lying since the beginning when they bought Oculus. Besides that “you won’t need a Facebook account for it” and the privacy concerns on top of that. No that is not a valid alternative.

    And the rest struggles with quality issues: Blurry imaging on the borders, fisheye view, low resolution which makes it for text impossible to use (meaning doing word and excel is also no option there)

    Oh yeah Microsoft HoloLens, that thing is a problem in multiple levels: First of all, the majority of videos of the first one are complete fake news cause in reality the FOV is a stamp so they are lying even more than Facebook! Second that costs the same as the Apple Vision Pro with much lower quality. And Third: The thrown away the most valuable asset they had by not allowing 32bit and 64Bit Applications on that thing! They force you to use the couple of “Universal” Apps from the Windows Store. You know that Store that also couldn’t keep Windows Mobile alive. I would prefer to deal with Facebook before I get that thing!

    So many companies either are too greedy or can’t deliver what is needed for VR to succeed as technology. Still waiting for a good competitor which gives me a good package for a reasonable price. And with reasonable price I mean the price of an accessory (which it is) not the price for a beefy gaming pc!

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