NewsRumors

IDC predicts slow sales of VR/AR headsets for the rest of the year

But a rebound next year with Apple's 'RealityPro' might arrive

This could be bad news/good news for Apple’s rumored RealityPro headset. On the backs of a tough economic environment and rising prices, International Data Corporation (IDC) has reduced its outlook for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets for the remainder of 2022 and beyond. 

According to the research group, global shipments for AR and VR headsets will decline by 12.8% in 2022, dropping to 9.7 million units. Growth is expected to return in 2023 as shipments are forecast to jump 31.5% year over year. Sustained growth of more than 30% is also forecast for the next several years culminating in 35.1 million units shipped in 2026, according to new data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker.

Meta has long dominated the industry thanks to the accessibly priced Quest 2, which has captured 84.6% of the global AR/VR headset market during the first three quarters of 2022. The next closest competitor has been ByteDance’s Pico with 7.4% share over the same period. The top 5 list is rounded out by DPVR (1.8%), HTC (1.1%), and iQIYI (0.9%). However, each of these companies will face challenges next year as Sony’s next generation headset launches and Apple also enters the market, according to IDC.

“With the Quest 2 price increase and premium pricing expected for the PSVR2 and Apple’s headset, consumers will likely be more reticent with their spend in the near term,” says Jitesh Ubrani, research manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. “However, commercial growth will outpace the consumer segment in the coming years as businesses deploy VR headsets for training and other use cases and as new headsets begin to bleed into the AR territory by offering pass-through capabilities.”

About Reality Pro

When it comes to the Reality Pro, the rumors are abundant. Such a device will arrive in 2023. Or 2024. Or 2025, Or 2026. It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may be eventually be available in both. The Reality Pro may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work.

Other rumors say that it could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system. Or perhaps “xrOS” for extended reality operating system.

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.