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IDC Tracker Sees a Long Road Ahead for Augmented Reality Headsets

NEEDHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AR–Worldwide shipments of Augmented Reality (AR) headsets are forecast to decline 8.7% year over year to nearly 260,000 units by the end of 2022, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker. While a decline for such a nascent technology may seem abrupt, volumes have been slowing in recent quarters due to the shaky financials of some of the top companies, lack of new devices, and end-user demand being fulfilled by AR on smartphones in the short term.

In the first half of 2022, the top 5 AR headset makers were Microsoft, Rokid, Shadow Creator, Mad Gaze, and RealWear. However, the landscape is expected to shift dramatically as more companies enter the market and tech giants like Apple and Meta take more of an interest in AR. Looking ahead, despite the decline in 2022, IDC anticipates plenty of growth as the market is forecast to have a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 70.3%, topping out at 4.1 million units by the end of 2026.

“We’re still years away from mass consumer adoption of AR glasses, and the earliest timeframe for such products would be in late 2024 or early 2025 as companies such as Apple, Meta, and others use what they’ve learned from virtual reality headsets to launch a more streamlined and consumer friendly design for AR glasses,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. “Between now and then, AR will continue to grow within the consumer segment though most of the products will be more akin to goggles or headsets rather than glasses and that will be a non-starter for many.”

“The majority of AR headset shipments to date have been on the commercial side, where companies are willing and able to make the necessary investments in not just the hardware but also the required software and services that can drive a clear return on investment,” Tom Mainelli, group vice president, Device & Consumer Research. “We expect commercial shipments to drive the market well into the forecast period, as more companies embrace AR’s growing number of use cases.”

A graphic illustrating IDC’s 2021-2026 forecast for AR headsets is available by viewing this press release on

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 Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 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

Tom Mainelli

Michael Shirer

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