TrendForce reports that it expects that the global shipments of virtual reality (VR) devices will reach 4.65 million units in 2018, and six-million units in 2019, a YoY growth of 29%.
Some of the growth will be the result of Oculus's price cut, which TrendForce says has successfully boosted sales since the release of Oculus Quest at the beginning of this year.
Sony currently has the largest share with about two-million units of its PlayStation VR shipped globally, expected to rise to 2.2 million in 2019. Second is Oculus (Facebook) with 0.9 million, expected to jump to 1.7 million, followed by other brands with 1.15 million, forecasted to 1.3 million next year. In fourth is HTC with 0.6 million units, projected to rise to 0.8 million. It should be noted that Oculus also contributed to the "others" category, having jointly developed the Mi VR standalone with Xiaomi for the Chinese market; and that the figures do not include shipments of mobile VR devices.
Oculus has witnessed the largest shipment growth among the three major VR makers, with momentum from Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest, which drove the company's total shipments to 1.7 million units.
Jason Tsai, Analyst at TrendForce, points out that Oculus Quest is the main product of the company, while Facebook will continue to provide more applications for standalone VR devices. Rather than making profits from hardware devices, Facebook would put more focus on promoting its platform and content services. Therefore, Oculus offers attractive prices to increase the penetration of standalone VR devices. Retaining its pricing strategy, Oculus has a chance to offer low-priced Oculus Rift in the future.
Sony will continue to focus on console-based VR market and to develop the next-generation PlayStation. HTC will retain its market positioning of high performance and great user experience. HTC may offer promotions to deal with the pressure from competitors, but boosting shipments will not be the main target for the company.
Looking back to the global VR market for 2018, Sony, Oculus, and HTC have their respective market objectives and plans, which moderated the competition between them. However, as Oculus continues its aggressive strategy to expand the market share and introduce more software and applications, competition in the global VR market may grow tense. Says TrendForce.