HTC leads in China VR market

HTC has captured the top spot in the virtual reality (VR) headset market in China with 18 percent market share, according to Canalys. It shipped more than 50,000 of its Vive headsets in China.
Local vendor DeePoon came a close second, taking a 17 percent share with two headsets to compete with HTC. In 2016, almost 70 percent of DeePoon’s shipment were of its M2 smart VR headset.
Overall, around 300,000 VR headsets were shipped in 2016, making it the world’s second largest market with a share of around 15 percent.

“HTC will need to continue its attack on the B2B market to ensure it maintains its lead. It is supplementing a good product with efforts to build a successful ecosystem by encouraging startups and content makers to produce engaging user experiences. DeePoon is chasing HTC in China and owes much to its partnership with Samsung, suppliers of the M2’s silicon and display. This relationship has been vital to lower the cost of ownership of VR systems and maintain the VR experience at a decent level,” said Jason Low, Analyst of Canalys.

2017 will be a challenging year for local VR vendors. Limited access to resources and an inability to make bold decisions will continue to threaten investor-backed VR firms, which are under pressure to increase both revenue and profitability.

“HTC has been able to use its relatively stable financial position to convince the channel and ecosystem partners that it is in it for the long run. Companies such as DeePoon and 3Glasses have now managed to move beyond the consumer market to attract business buyers. They will need to start building their ecosystems, engaging developers to create unique use-cases to give businesses confidence,” said Low.

Sony’s consumer focus and low PlayStation 4 installed base led it to ship fewer than 30,000 units, taking fourth place in China despite leading in most other markets.

“To boost PlayStation VR demand in China, Sony must ensure its AAA VR content is launched there at the same time as in other countries,” said Low.

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