Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) The HTC Vive, the first virtual reality headset produced by Taiwanese smartphone brand HTC Corp. (宏達電), is expected to rank as the No. 2 bestseller worldwide in its category this year, market information advisory firm Canalys said Wednesday.
In a research report, Canalys forecast HTC Vive shipments of 500,000 units for the year, second only to Sony Corp. PlayStation VR with an estimated 800,000 units.
HTC's US$100 discount on the Vive on Black Friday and Cyber Monday during the U.S. Thanksgiving season was one of the factors that helped boost sales in the U.S. market, Canalys said.
Another factor was HTC's big push in the China market, which yielded strong sales of the Vive this year, the advisory firm said.
Alvin Wang Graylin (汪叢青), HTC's China regional president of HTC Vive, said that since the VR headset went on sale in April, it has been leading the market for such devices in China.
The HTC Vive was the bestselling VR headset on the Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com (京東商城) during China's Double 11 Sales Day on Nov. 11, which is known as the world's biggest one-day online shopping event.
Meanwhile, Sony is expected to ship 800,000 units of its PlayStation VR this year, taking the lead in the global VR device market with an affordable headset that caters to its broad PlayStation 4 base, Canalys said.
It forecast that Facebook's Oculus Rift will finish third, with shipments of about 400,000 units this year, after getting a sales boost from the release of the long-awaited Touch motion controller.
According to Canalys, shipments of VR headsets worldwide are expected to top 2 million units in 2016 and reach 20 million by 2020.
In an effort to cash in on the trend and diversify away from the saturated smartphone market, HTC has been devoting much time and effort to VR development.
The Vive, jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, was launched at the Mobile World Congress in March 2015.
(By Esme Jiang and Frances Huang)