The addressable market for Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets has now reached 191m worldwide. That’s according to the latest figures from Newzoo, whose Global Smartphone and Tablet Tracker has estimated how many mobile devices are currently compatible with both bits of hardware.
In February, 184.4m devices worldwide were compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR headset, and 5.6m devices were compatible with Daydream. That’s 6.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent of all smartphones respectively.
Naturally, the US has the highest proportion of compatible Gear VR and Daydream devices, with 12 per cent of all smartphones or 13.8m individual devices meeting the hardware requirements.
So far, Samsung has confirmed it’s sold 5m Gear VR headsets as of January 2017, which Newzoo says "puts global market penetration for the headset at 2.7 per cent expressed as ashare of all actively used Samsung smartphones that could power the Gear VR peripheral."
It goes on: "While five million units sold is an impressive number, it certainly does not constitute mass adoption of the VR hardware yet. If Apple were to launch a high-end VR device, compatibility with the iPhone 6S and 7 series would be enough to have a significantly bigger addressable market for mobile VR than Samsung: 9.4 per cent (Apple) versus 6.6 per cent (Samsung)."
Of course, there are many reasons that may be preventing the mass adoption of mobile VR. One of the biggest factors, says Newzoo, is the fact that many people have their first taste of VR on someone else’s headset, and that the need to own their own personal one isn’t big enough yet to justify the purchase.
Newzoo also suggests that improving the quality of more affordable mobile VR devices, such as Google Cardboard, will go a long way to help boost take-up, and that the industry needs more content that caters for a wide range of interests.