Opportunities for VR Hardware Differentiation Crumble as Competitive Focus Shifts to App Stores, Audience Engagement and Regional Market Needs

22 Jan 2018

Early VR leaders like Google, Samsung, Facebook/Oculus, HTC, and Valve will continue to drive the market forward, but differentiation between HMDs with a common form factor, such as tethered or mobile reliant, will become increasingly challenging, as standards mature. According to ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, standards (including cross-platform support) are already in process within the Khronos Group (OpenXR) and IEEE to support a more homogenous VR landscape that will enable developers to more easily target multiple platforms for applications. 

“On the surface, it might be difficult to see the trend toward a more unified VR market, but momentum is well underway,” says Michael Inouye, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “New entrants like Windows MR increase fragmentation, but the commonality in features across HMDs highlights a future where we’ll see more of the same than not. This is particularly true as “newer” aspects of the hardware like inside-out tracking, eye tracking, and high-quality displays become elements of the basic feature set. In time, we’ll see more effort to differentiate at the service and software level, rather than creating barriers within the hardware.”  

To create separation between platforms, companies will have to emphasize software and application stores/platforms along with tailoring products to consumers and commercial end users. HTC is an early leader in this regard, making strong inroads into the professional markets, and catering products and platforms to best suit regional differences, with strong investment in China. Other companies like Sensics are helping companies move from off-the-shelf products to solutions that more optimally suit specific applications and needs (e.g., destination-based VR).    

“Whether it is common hardware platforms or cross-platform standards that help bring uniformity to VR, the market will benefit with more equitable user experiences across the board and stronger incentives for developers to invest in VR applications – a similar dynamic has occurred within the game console space, albeit VR’s future should have fewer ecosystem barriers than those erected by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. While ABI Research believes Google will maintain the largest share of active users over the forecasting period, the market will develop best if market shares of individual platforms take a back seat to the overall growth of the market in aggregate,” concludes Inouye.

These findings are from ABI Research’s VR Platforms and Storefronts report. This report is part of the company’s  Video, VR & OTT research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance for visionaries needing market foresight on the most compelling transformative technologies, which reshape workforces, identify holes in a market, create new business models and drive new revenue streams. ABI’s own research visionaries take stances early on those technologies, publishing groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms. ABI analysts deliver their conclusions and recommendations in easily and quickly absorbed formats to ensure proper context. Our analysts strategically guide visionaries to take action now and inspire their business to realize a bigger picture. For more information about ABI Research’s forecasting, consulting and teardown services, visionaries can contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit www.abiresearch.com.



About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit www.abiresearch.com.

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Service