IDC: VR headsets will ship 100 million units by 2021

VR headset shipments to hit 100 million units by 2021, but will they be mostly mobile VR HMDs?

Published Tue, Jun 20 2017 1:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:55 AM CST

According to research firm IDC, shipments of VR and AR headsets are set to climb in a big way over the next 5 years. IDC expects VR and AR shipments to reach 100 million by 2021, with under 10 million headsets shipping in 2016, this is a big uptick in HMD shipments.

IDC: VR headsets will ship 100 million units by 2021 |

Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers said: "The next six to 18 months will further stimulate the VR market as PC vendors, along with Microsoft, introduce tethered headsets and high-end standalone VR headsets also enter the market".

VR headsets are expected to outsell AR headsets, with the likes of HTC, Oculus and Sony enjoying strong sales of VR headsets. IDC explains that AR is "harder to achieve", as in AR headsets are more complicated to not just make - but build, and sell. Google Glass wasn't cheap, and neither is Microsoft HoloLens... maybe we'll see Apple hit the premium this year or next with their own AR headset, something the likes of industry awesome guy Robert Scoble predicts.

I reached out to Anshel Sag, Staff Technologist and Technical Writer at Moor Insights & Strategy, who said: "I believe that 100 million units is an ambitious target to reach within the next 4 years, however it isn't impossible. It would still require more engagement from bigger players like Google, Apple and Facebook. Microsoft may also have a big say in that 100 million headsets, but their lack of mention of VR during E3 is concerning".


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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