~9m/yr. VR unit shipments in context


Simon Sharwood pulls together some shipment numbers to put VR headset shipments in context.

The tl;dr on annual shipments: 9.2m VR headsets, vs. 135.6m wearbles, vs. ~1.5bn smartphones.

Details

VR headsets have a runrate of, like, 9.2m units:

Virtual reality headsets are moving at a rate of 2.3 million a quarter

But, fast growing:

IDC says shipments are up 77.4 per cent year over year.

Meanwhile, wearables are at something like “33.9 million shipments a month,” like a runrate of 135.6m units.

Meanwhile, taking from this year’s Internet Trends report (sourced from Morgan Stanley), smart phone shipments are under 1.5bn, though slowing in growth:


And then smartphone shipments from IDC (probably where Morgan got those numbers):

For the full year [of 2016], the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1.47 billion units shipped, marking the highest year of shipments on record, yet up only 2.3% from the 1.44 billion units shipped in 2015.

Source: Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

A few weeks ago, I gave one of my occasional lectures at the University of Sydney, a class on the history of virtual reality and art. (Postmodern theories about disembodiment and self-representation from the 90s have found a new lease on life, thanks to Oculus and Google Cardboard.)