Augmented Reality (AR), Business, China, Mobile, News, US, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

China might beat the US in AR adoption, according to forecast

According to a report from Digi-Capital, China is likely to beat the United States in AR adoption. The company posits quite a few things relating to AR/VR in its study, so let’s break them down below.

About Digi-Capital’s study

Digi-Capital focuses on releasing detailed reports and statistics concerning the AR/VR markets and many related tech segments. Their most recent report, for Q2 2018, provides insights, interviews, and even a database on all kinds of market information. A considerable part of this report focused on VR and AR adoption, which we’ll detail below.

How China could win in AR adoption, and our thoughts

According to the report, the following is true:

  • The United States has a larger VR install base than China, through products like PSVR and the HTC Vive. The recently-released Oculus Go may impact these numbers as well.
  • While China has a smaller VR install base, it has a much larger number of mobile devices in play. Since AR doesn’t rely on expensive headsets and can be used with pretty much any modern smartphone, this gives them the advantage in AR apps.

While VR is often viewed as a subset of the gaming market, AR is much more mobile and social in its current form. According to the report, this will give AR a growth in proportion to that of mobile, which is much larger than just gaming. With these and other data points in mind, Digi-Capital posits the following:

  • Of every $5 spent on AR/VR, China alone could take over a fifth of that.
  • By 2022, VR is expected to reach a 50-60M install base with $10-15B in revenue. In comparison, AR is expected to reach $90B in revenue an install base of 3.5B.
  • Following these numbers, AR adoption is likely to significantly eclipse that of VR.

Impending name change to AR World aside, we agree that there’s a lot of potential in AR, as well as the Chinese market. Even in VR, China is getting exclusive products like the HTC Vive Focus, the first standalone VR headset from HTC. The dominance of players like Huawei in mobile also bolsters this argument.

In truth, we won’t know for sure if this report is accurate until 2022 rolls around. Hopefully, by then Apple’s AR/VR hybrid has shaken things up.