HTC predicts VR global sales will beat smartphones, as VR poised to earn $2.3B revenue in 2016

HTC is optimistic about the future of the virtual reality market. The company recently predicted that VR sales will surpass smartphone sales globally in a few years.

Wang Tsung-ching, head of HTC Vive China, said in a report on China's Sina website that as it took only a few years for the smartphone market to overtake personal computer sales in terms of volume, sales in the VR market will exceed those of the smartphone market in just four years. Wang attributes the jump in sales to the slowing down in demand for smartphones. He believes the boom in VR sales will created a "big impact" in the high tech sector and the daily lives of its consumers. In other words, HTC expects VR devices to be the next big consumer technology on the market.

HTC's prediction echoes recent reports tackling the future of VR. The latest of which is a report from market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). The firm's first global forecast for VR and augmented reality markets states VR hardware sales will go beyond 9.6 million units and generate as much as $2.3 billion revenue worldwide in 2016. This estimate is expected to rise to as many as 64.8 million units, an increase of 183.8 percent, by 2020. The sales will be bolstered by enthusiasm for VR as a result of efforts by industry leaders like Sony, Samsung, HTC, and Oculus.

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"In 2016, virtual reality will catapult into the spotlight with major launches from Oculus, HTC/Valve, and Sony building on the early momentum created by Samsung's first smartphone-based product," Tom Mainelli, IDC vice president for devices and displays, said in the report. "When you combine this with robust shipments of screenless viewers from Samsung and other vendors launching later this year, you start to see the beginning of a reasonable installed base for content creators to target."

In January, a separate report from Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, said combined VR and AR markets could grow to an $80 billion industry by 2025. At the helm of this growth will be gaming, although other industries like healthcare, sports, and education could also "revolutionize" the VR business.

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