DPVR has replaced HTC as the leading VR headset vendor in China in Q2 2017, Canalys reported on August 22.
Canalys estimates that worldwide VR headset shipments reached 800,000 units in Q2 2017, with China accounting for 10 percent of the market.
The overall VR headset market in China grew 25 percent quarter on quarter to reach 80,000 units.
DPVR has shipped 18,000 headsets, registering a 30 percent increase quarter-on-quarter.
HTC, which sells HTC Vive basic headset, posted 6 percent drop quarter-on-quarter, shipping 14,000 VR headset units in Q2.
Sony shipped 9,000 PlayStation VR headsets in China, taking the third place.
Canalys said VR vendors, including Pico, 3Glasses and Hypereal, contributed to growth in China with new product releases.
Globally, both Facebook and HTC recently announced $200 cut in the price of VR headsets to attract more customers.
Strategy of DPVR
DPVR ships a variety of VR products, with a focus on smart VR headsets, which accounted for 60 percent of its total shipments in Q2. The company benefited from a better product mix, with the addition of the newly-released E3, a basic VR headset that tethers to a PC.
“The E3’s biggest selling point is its competitive price,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low. “By dropping the barrier to entry, businesses are now investing more in VR. DPVR is winning contracts from B2B partners, including media content and service providers looking to deliver VR content to customers at home.”
DPVR shipped 7,000 E3s in Q2 2017, though it trailed behind HTC and Sony in the basic VR headset segment.
Canalys expects the market to move toward smart VR headsets in the second half of the year.
HTC announced the recruitment of developers for its upcoming smart VR headset during ChinaJoy 2017 in Shanghai in July. HTC saw the need to quickly launch a standalone headset specifically for the Chinese market to follow the trend early.
Despite slashing the price of HTC VR headsets, the current Vive system poses many challenges for both consumer and business adoption due to its complexity and the need for VR-ready PCs.
“HTC will regain its top position in China if it produces an appealing standalone headset that is affordable yet capable of providing new use cases for both businesses and consumers,” Jason Low said.
Canalys said China’s consumer market remains challenging, especially for basic VR headsets that need an additional external computing device. But Chinese vendors have identified opportunities that HTC and Sony missed.
Hypereal, a newcomer to the industry, released the Pano, an affordable headset suitable for VR gaming on the PC, to fill the void caused by the absence of Oculus in China.
“Vendors must lower prices while improving the user experience and content to drive growth and adoption in the consumer market. Pico demonstrated that it is possible to produce an appealing standalone headset while offering a decent VR experience for under $300,” ” said Canalys research analyst Mo Jia.