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Date: 01-06-16

When every needy-one has smartphone,PC, and HDTV; VR gets in with spiky growth

If you look at the yester years of electronics growth, it was the consumer electronics which was a big pie of opportunity in the form of radio and TV receivers, and then came the personal computer, notebook, followed by Internet which could enable further growth of personal computers. After the Internet growth bust, it was the mobile phone and smart phone which gave significant growth. All this points out consumer market is always a great opportunity for electronics.

Whether you are living in a developed country or a developing country, a typical middle-class person has most of these or have access to most of these, off course with few exceptions. Like the way Internet has fuelled the growth of personal computers, Internet of things (IoT) to fuel the growth of electronics in everything, but that may not be a 100% electronics product where in many cases a little bit of electronics going into your door locks to your cloths, and even inside/attached your body. But if you see at Electronics as a product, Virtual reality devices offer interesting fast growth market in immediate term.

Nobody wants small screens, so the complete immersion kind of a display is a next big opportunity for mobile phone companies.

Latest research by Consumer Technology Association (CTA) finds out there are 211 million smartphones in US, owned by 74 percent of households.

CTA also finds US households that own smartphones now have multiple smartphones per house, an average of 2.4. This doesn't mean people are not going to buy smartphones sooner, the study also finds 91 percent of smartphone-owning households plan on making a repeat purchase in the near future. If smart phones doesn't support virtual reality; why would they buy that.

Now let's look at what is the latest market forecast for virtual reality products. The leading market researcher International data Corporation (IDC) sees a huge growth for virtual reality products in the year 2016, and IDC uses the word "skyrocket" growth. IDC says "worldwide shipments of Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will skyrocket in 2016".

virtual reality

Pic: VR headset for Sony Playstation

To give you the exact forecast figures by IDC, the shipments of VR devices worldwide are expected to increase by over 2400% in 2016, with screen less viewers enjoying the largest market share at 74%. Mobile gamers, movie watchers, and also some business applications which need wider screen will find this VR market enabler for their content.

IDC says the consumer Electronics leader SONY and HTC are taking the lead in VR technologies by launching new products in the year 2016. Another leading vendor in this area is Oculus. IDC also finds Chinese companies have the advantage in marketing.

At an event called VR Ecosystem Summit held in Guiyang last 25th of May 2016, some of the market trends observed by IDC or discussed includes:

Semiconductor companies trying to develop chips for PC, so that they are compatible with virtual reality devices.

Intel, Qualcomm, and China-based fabless semiconductor design companies Allwinner and Spreadtrum introduced their mobile VR solutions. "The evolution of the Chinese Standalone HMD market will have an impact on the global VR market landscape." says IDC.

For smart phone makers this is a way out for growth. They may have to make the product work with standalone VR devices and also their own products.

Since Virtual reality is graphic/image processor intensive, the cloud and big data is leveraged through high-speed network such as 4G and in future 5G. All these demands application platforms supporting higher virtual reality product developers.

So finally do we have a virtual reality ready content? iQIYI and Youku have released their VR video platforms and related strategies, making first moves to capture emerging video content market opportunities, says IDC. But a lot of others are also just on the edge to jump into this area. While all these days online content was getting recoded for mobile friendly screens, now it's time to tune your content for virtual reality screens .

The Smart phone marketeers will now start using virtual reality performance benchmark to sell their phones. In fact they have already started.

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