Even though the virtual reality ecosystem is getting more competitive every year, there are four companies who seemingly dominate the market right now. Google, Oculus, HTC, and Samsung are all market leaders in their own regard. All of these companies have created VR hardware for consumers to enjoy, although they have all taken slightly different approaches so far. Below are the top companies based on units shipped so far.
Even though the Oculus Rift seems to be the best-known VR headset to date, it is not the best-selling device by any means. Despite the company not publishing any shipment numbers – similar to HTC – it is widely believed HTC is outselling the Oculus Rift at a two-to-one ratio. If that number is somewhat accurate, it would mean only 210,000 units have been sold and shipped so far. Others put the official sale numbers around the 250,000 mark, which is still well below its main competitors.
HTC has quickly become one of the dominant forced when it comes to selling virtual reality headsets. Even though sales figures haven’t been updated in some time, the company sold 140,000 HTC Vive headsets by November 2016. A report from SuperData puts the numbers at 420,000 units to date, although that has never been officially confirmed by HTC themselves.
Even though these sales figures may seem low to a lot of people, it is important to remember the HTC Vive is not a cheap headset by any means. Moreover, the company sold more units compared to Oculus, despite having a very limited marketing budget and being more expensive. It will be interesting to see if these positions will change over the coming months, though.
Even though the Playstation VR is limited to Playstation consoles, it appears to be outselling HTC Vive and Oculus Rift units at an alarming pace. As of February of 2017, Sony had sold 915,000 Playstation VR units. That is quite an impressive number, considering the product was only launched in Q4 of 2016. Keeping in mind how the Playstation VR still costs around $450, the sales numbers have brought in quite a bit of revenue for Sony. Accessibility and affordability are its main selling points right now.
Hardly anyone will be surprised to learn Samsung is dominating the VR space with their Samsung VR device. As of last year, Samsung had sold 4.51 million units, although that number has increased by now. The company’s main advantage comes in the form of getting to market as one of the first, a cheaper price, and being more accessible. A lot of headsets were given away with the S7 pre-orders as well, which certainly helped. It is possible Google will take a way more of Samsung’s market share, though, once their Daydream VR headset launches.
If Google has done one thing right, it is launching the Google Cardboard VR headset. It is by far the most affordable solution that works well with any smartphone. Moreover, Google recently expanded its WebVR capabilities to the Cardboard headset, which should allow for the influx of more applications. That is the only department where the Cardboard VR headset needs some more work as its software ecosystem remains rather barren. That said, Google shipped over 10 million Cardboard units since 2014, which is quite impressive. The world is anxiously waiting for the company’s Daydream VR headset, that much is certain
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