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Does IDC Really Think People Will Buy Over 225 Million AR/VR Devices By 2020?
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Does IDC Really Think People Will Buy Over 225 Million AR/VR Devices By 2020?

IDC VR industry forecast

It sure seems so, based on You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.:

[W]orldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020... Sales of AR/VR hardware will generate more than 50% of worldwide revenues throughout the forecast period.

This $162 billion figure has been widely reported everywhere, but You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., no one I know has run the back-of-envelope calculations on this figure. But since IDC's report says over half this $162B revenue is from hardware devices, that's $81 billion. And if we divide that by $350 per individual device sale at retail -- averaging the price of premium devices like Vive and low end smartphone add-ons -- we get well over 225 million. (And that's estimating downward.)

I've asked the report's lead author, Christopher Chute, if my assumption is correct, because 225 million devices sold in such a short time is a massive market:

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For a couple comparison points, only one videogame console, the Playstation 2, has anywhere near that install base, and that took over a decade, while the latest videogame consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One, You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. total in the last 3 years.

A couple more points: It took the iPhone You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., and that's, you know, a fricking phone. And right now, in 2016, if we're to include You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., and You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., and You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view., and the under 1 million sales of both Vive and Oculus Rift, we're well under 20 million total so far. So we're talking 10x growth in under 5 years. Which I guess is possible, but when people start talking about adoption rates comparable with the iPhone, I'd say it's time to start scrutinizing these estimates much closer.

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