Another Slow Year Expected for AR/VR Headsets Before 2024 Rebound, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AR–Worldwide augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) headset shipments declined for the fourth quarter in a row as volumes fell 44.6% year over year during the second quarter of 2023 (2Q23), according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker. Downward pressure from the global economy has curbed demand while the negative impact of a price hike on the popular Quest 2 headset combined with aging hardware from multiple vendors to further hobble growth in this market.

The lull in the market doesn’t come as a surprise given the economic downturn and the small pool of suppliers for both AR and VR headsets. In fact, 2023 volumes are shaping up to be only slightly higher than 2017 with 8.5 million headsets expected to ship this year. However, a lot has changed in the past few years as standalone headsets have had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.5% while screenless viewers such as Samsung’s Gear VR have essentially disappeared from the market.

“Over the past several years, Meta and Qualcomm have dramatically improved the AR/VR landscape, allowing the industry to move beyond simple phone-based VR to standalone headsets that have paved the way for VR gaming and numerous enterprise use cases,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager, Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. “However, more companies have skin in the game as Sony along with MediaTek and Apple have joined the race to enable next generation experiences and potentially bring AR and VR technologies to an even larger market.”

Meta’s status as the market leader has not changed as the company held 50.2% market share during the quarter. However, the company does face a challenge from Sony (27.1% market share) and ByteDance (9.6% share), each of which gained share in 2Q23. Rounding out the top 5 were Xreal (formerly Nreal) and DPVR, each of which had slightly more than 2% share.

A graphic illustrating the worldwide market share of the top 5 AR/VR headset companies over the previous five quarters is available by viewing this press release on

While 2023 will be another year of decline for AR/VR headset shipments, IDC forecasts the market to rebound in 2024, growing 46.8% year over year thanks to new hardware from Meta and ByteDance, the introduction of Apple’s Vision Pro, and the growing presence of smaller companies. By 2027, the market is expected to reach 30.3 million units globally.

“The ARVR market is at a critical point in its short history,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for Mobile Devices and AR/VR at IDC. “Apple’s entry next year will bring much needed attention to a small market, but it will also force other companies to compete in different ways. For some, it means meeting Apple head-to-head with similar features and applications. For others, it means guarding their specific market segments. In some cases, it will be both. Still, this will provide users with greater choice and comparison, and eventually the definition for best-of-breed will take on new meaning going forward.”

Worldwide AR/VR Headset Forecast by Product: 2023 and 2027 Shipments and Year-Over-Year Growth, and 2023-2027 CAGR (shipments in millions)


2023 Shipments

2023/2022 Growth

2027 Shipments

2027/2026 Growth

2023-2027 CAGR

Standalone HMD






Tethered HMD












Source: IDC Worldwide AR/VR Headset Tracker, September 19, 2023

* Note: Screenless Viewer Shipments have been excluded in 2023 due to extremely low number of units.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly Excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, please contact Jackie Kliem at 508-988-7984 or

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About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.

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Jitesh Ubrani


Ramon T. Llamas


Michael Shirer

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