A new report published by Digi-Capital analysts has predicted that mobile augmented reality (AR) industry is expected to cross over a billion users and $60 billion in global revenue by 2021. Both of these might seem ambitious figures to some considering that it is an industry which is still fairly new and has a long road ahead. But when the newest player to enter the AR race is as big as Apple and this emerging technology is still backed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Snap, industry analysts are seemingly optimistic.
Starting with the user base, the report shows that mobile AR could reach over a billion users and analysts are betting on Apple and Facebook to drive massive growth in the industry. They described the Cupertino-based tech giant as an “expert when it comes to converting existing users to new software" and as most of its users are on iOS 10 within one year of its launch, it is expected to convert a good number of those to ARkit users. Similarly, Facebook is expected to have a huge reach as it owns three of the world’s most widely used communications and social media platforms Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Even though many of its overall users are expected to be on at least two of these services, it still has a good chance of bringing them to the mobile AR platform. Some of the other prominent players in the market include the likes of Snap, Google, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Huawei, and Samsung.
As for the revenue aspect, predicted target of $60 billion in the next four years is largely backed by existing AR successes like Pokemon Go. Niantic's creation was the first mobile AR experience for many users worldwide and while many believe that AR is mostly about gaming, the new report suggests that over four-fifths of the 2021 AR revenue will come from sectors like mobile network data, eCommerce sales, non-gaming apps, advertising, and enterprise. As for the regional revenue share, the industry is predicted to see almost half of it coming from Asia, followed by North America and Western Europe. While it remains to be seen whether Digi-Capital report holds true, more details on the matter will likely follow shortly.