New Devices Support the Promise of Extended Reality

  • Extended reality will see a small boost in sales in 2023 thanks to new virtual reality device launches, even though the weak macroeconomic context will continue to weigh the segment down.
  • Adoption will continue to grow, helped by the halo effect of some of the best-known consumer brands getting involved in this nascent device category.
  • Shipments are expected to reach 75 million units at a manufacturer value of $40 billion in 2027.

London, 1 June 2023: Virtual and augmented reality devices — often referred to together as extended reality — have felt more intense pressure from recent macroeconomic weakness than some other categories of smart devices. However, launches of long-awaited products and sustained interest from businesses will help the market record slight growth in 2023, according to the latest research by technology market analyst firm CCS Insight. The company’s newly published forecast expects sales to reach 9.8 million units in 2023, up 6% from 2022 despite the weak start to 2023.

“If Apple unveils a headset at its WWDC event, as is widely expected, it would be the start of an exciting new chapter for the extended reality market”, notes Leo Gebbie, Principal Analyst for Connected Devices at CCS Insight. “Apple has the star power to reignite excitement about a technology that has struggled in recent times. A foray into virtual and mixed reality would be the biggest shift in the company’s strategic direction for years and a huge statement of intent to explore the next generation of computing”.

Apple’s expected launch would add to the positive momentum created by Sony’s PlayStation VR2 device, which launched earlier in the year. “The halo effect of Apple and Sony will trigger further awareness and interest in extended reality. We naturally expect other big consumer brands to enter the market — such as Samsung, which helped establish the category in the 2010s”, comments Kane McKenna, Analyst for Wearables at CCS Insight. This feeds into the forecast for solid growth ahead, predicting sales to reach 75 million units in 2027.

Although this is good news for the market, these positive expectations are still lower than those a year ago. Adoption will be hindered by the recent increase in retail prices of leading devices and premium prices expected to come from Apple. “However, these higher prices are understandable”, explains McKenna. “The industry needs to reduce its reliance on subsidized devices to drive sales and start to make money from the segment so that it can continue to invest in innovation and develop extended reality further”. Still, once consumer appetite is created, CCS Insight expects more affordable devices will emerge to increase adoption.

A significant driver for the extended reality market remains the robust demand from businesses, even as the current macroeconomic landscape makes some enterprises wary of spending. Businesses continue to invest in spatial computing, with extended reality proving its value in learning, training, meetings and remote assistance. CCS Insight forecasts that enterprises will buy 20% of the extended reality devices sold in the next five years.

At the same time, elegant consumer-centric smart glasses are a puzzle that the industry is yet to solve. Finding a balance between power, capability, comfort and battery life remains challenging. Gebbie explains: “We’re seeing good progress throughout the hardware stack in building these next-generation devices, but it’ll take a few more years for them to reach mass market scale”.

Nonetheless, the outlook for the extended reality market remains positive. “Some commentators have declared the metaverse dead and buried, but behind the scenes, we continue to see strong investment from technology leaders. With new extended reality headsets expected from Apple and Meta over the coming weeks and months, we forecast a revival of spatial computing”, concludes Gebbie.

A summary of CCS Insight’s latest forecast is presented in the chart below.

More details of CCS Insight’s extensive virtual and augmented reality research service can be found at

Notes to editors

CCS Insight is a leading provider of research on the extended reality market. Its virtual and augmented reality device forecast covers several product segments and presents three scenarios (core, low and high) that plot the effects of different market developments.

This forecast is part of a broader suite of research into extended reality technology, including an extensive database of devices, regular reports and updates on the latest announcements, events and news.

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on current and future trends in technology. It provides comprehensive services tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow @CCSInsight on Twitter or learn more at

For further information contact:
Imogen Tait
Harvard PR
Tel: 07384 907535

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