Qualcomm held an investor event earlier this week where the company claimed that its partnership with Meta (formerly Facebook) had seen over 10 million Oculus Quest 2 units shipped since its launch in October 2020. Not so fast though: Qualcomm now says the 10 million unit figure was a third-party estimate and “wasn’t meant as an official disclosure of sales numbers by Meta or Qualcomm.”

Update (November 18th, 2021): In a statement provided to Road to VR, Qualcomm has clarified that the previously mentioned 10 million unit figure was the result of an estimate calculated using third-party data. Here’s the statement in full:

“During Qualcomm’s Investor Day event, CEO and President Cristiano Amon highlighted the momentum of the XR business and stated that Quest 2 has shipped an estimated 10 million units,” a Qualcomm spokesperson told Road to VR. “This number is an average of third-party market size estimates from industry analysts, and wasn’t meant as an official disclosure of sales numbers by Meta or Qualcomm. Snapdragon XR Platforms power over 50 commercial devices, including Quest, and Qualcomm’s early investments have established Snapdragon as the platform of choice for connecting physical and digital spaces.”

It’s important to note that Qualcomm knows precisely how many Snapdragon XR2s it’s sold to Meta, and it’s reasonable to infer that if the company feels confident in standing behind third-party data, then that number may not be too far off from the reality of things.

The original article follows below detailing the Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon’s original statement from its Investor Day event.

Original Article (November 17th, 2021): We’ve seen figures in the past that suggested Meta’s latest standalone headset was doing very well—possibly putting it at three times the adoption rate of Sony’s PSVR—but it was still unclear precisely how big of an impact Quest 2 had on the industry overall.

Now Qualcomm has quantified Quest 2’s success, noting that Meta has crossed over the 10 million unit mark.

“I remember talking about XR before it was popular a few years ago, and we’re very excited about our position right now,” said Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon on stage at the event. “And I’ll point you out that this is already starting. Oculus Quest 2 was 10 million units, and the success of Oculus Quest 2 had an impact on the company that is providing [it].” (see update)

Image courtesy Facebookulsu quest 2

Qualcomm is a close partner with Meta, having produced the Snapdragon XR2 chipset that drives Quest 2, as well as the Snapdragon 835 inside the original 2019-era Oculus Quest, making it likely the only company besides Meta to have such data.

And that’s pretty big for Meta. Back at Connect 5 in 2018, the company’s annual XR developer conference, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that he believed that 10 million VR users on a single platform was an important milestone for the company to reach in order to make a sustainable ecosystem for VR developers.

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“That’s the threshold where the number of people using and buying VR content makes it sustainable and profitable for all kinds of developers,” Zuckerberg said. “And once we get across this threshold, we think that the content and the ecosystem are just going to explode. Importantly, this threshold isn’t 10 million people across all different types of VR. Because if you build a game for Rift, it doesn’t necessarily work on Go or PlayStation VR. So we need 10 million people on [one] platform.”

Crossing that 10 million unit threshold may be part of the reason the company has suddenly placed so much emphasis on building out the metaverse—and changing its name from Facebook to Meta in the process. Granted, that’s ownership, not usership.

Whatever the case, unless Meta plans to produce its own in-house silicon, Qualcomm will very likely be there for the ride as Meta continues to reach for a yet larger userbase as its future mixed reality headset Project Cambria and AR glasses Project Nazare come into focus. Notably, Qualcomm’s says it offers “50+ designs” for its Snapdragon XR chipsets, integrating into headsets such as HTC Vive Focus 3, Pico Neo 3, and Lynx MR-1.

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  • sebrk

    Well, hats off. That number is pretty amazing tbh.

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  • the vast majority

    As much as I dislike Facebook I think there acquisition of Oculus is moving Vr forward. Resident Evil 4 and GTA San Andreas are good exclusives to push it forward and gain a larger base.

    • Ad

      You should care about more than mass adoption.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Ofcourse, but mass adoption makes the technology improve much faster, we’ve seen it with smartphones, pc’s and other tech stuff. So for the extra things you want fast, there first has to be a larger market for companies to want to spend extra cash on better features to sell more units.
        It’s simple, no adoption, except enthusiasts, no fast improvement.

        • the vast majority

          100% agree.

        • Ad

          You should care about more than that too, this seems like it was misinterpreted.

  • Arthur

    Doesn’t the context and phrasing of “Oculus Quest 2 was 10 million units, and the success of Oculus Quest 2 had an impact on the company that is providing [it]” make it seem more likely that the 10 million “units” are just processors being sold to Meta?

    • Gonzax

      That’s what I thought too. Shipped units doesn’t necessarily mean sold units.

      • MeowMix

        Yes, but the two will be relatively close.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        As we are approaching the next holiday season, Meta might be stockpiling Quest 2 in advance. Given that the Quest seems to have been a popular Christmas present in 2020, that they just released RE4 and MOH, which are highly recognized brands outside of VR, that they recently started running metaverse themed ads and that everybody is warning that global logistics issues could cause problems, having a few million Quest 2 ready to ship to retailers might be a good idea.

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    UploadVR asked Qualcomm to confirm this, and they replied that the 10mn wasn’t based on sales from Qualcomm, instead the CEO was just quoting estimates by analysts.

    Qualcomm Spokesperson:

    During Qualcomm’s Investor Day event, CEO and President Cristiano Amon highlighted the momentum of the XR business and stated that Quest 2 has shipped an estimated 10 million units. This number is an average of third-party market size estimates from industry analysts, and wasn’t meant as an official disclosure of sales numbers by Meta or Qualcomm. Snapdragon XR Platforms power over 50 commercial devices, including Quest, and Qualcomm’s early investments have established Snapdragon as the platform of choice for connecting physical and digital spaces.

    So this is not the type of confirmation it looked like. The proper title for this article would be Qualcomm: Industry analysts estimate that Oculus Quest 2 Shipped 10 Million Units Since Launch

    • MeowMix

      or another possibility is the CEO is backtracking as to not upset META.
      note this part of the statement:

      and wasn’t meant as an official disclosure of sales numbers by Meta or Qualcomm.

      Using ‘rumors’ to set market sales DURING an investor showcase is borderline malpractice. IMO, the 10M number is probably pretty close, and Qualcomm knows exactly how many chips they’ve shipped to META.

      • kontis

        the 10M number is probably pretty close.

        I would believe it if not for the official 4M number we got in the summer.

        • MeowMix

          The 4M was for the USA market only.

          • Rogue Transfer

            The 4M was for facial interfaces, which are also sold in packs of two(‘Comfort Kit’ has two fittings) and singles as accessories and many companies at the time were building stockpiles for years ahead(due to the pandemic issues that have led to transport & shortages) with parts like a facial interface.

            There’s no way to infer reliably from that number, as if many users bought another facepad or multiple ones(e.g. businesses), there could many times the number of facial interfaces sold compared to headset units themselves. Especially since this figure was after 9 months of selling and the Quest 2 Comfort Kit was likely a very popular item, because it offered wider fit version for glasses wearers and people often want a new facepad if they sweat a lot into it.

          • MeowMix

            Yes, it was w/ respect to facial interface covers. But few bought the custom facial interface packs you’re referring to – which were only available online (from Oculus themeselves); I disagree with the word choice of ‘many’ in your case. At BEST it’s a +- 500K.

            If by ‘MANY’ you mean consumers who purchased 3rd party facial interfaces (VR Cover, AMVR, Wiki), then you may have a point, but that doesn’t affect the recall numbers.

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            I’ve made $19490 just within thirty days by simply working parttime on home computer.~ay104~As I lost my last position, I was very upset but thankfully I have started this online assignment & in this way I am capable to get thousand USD easily from home.~ay112~Each individual can certainly avail this easy work & may earn extra money on-line by exploring this website.

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      • Sven Viking

        Admittedly estimates by industry analysts tend to be treated as more than just rumours, even if that may not be warranted in many cases.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Just for some context: Meta had sold 4.2mn Quest 2 in the USA and Canada in the 10.5 months from mid September 2020 to late July 2021, when they recalled the face pads. After that they didn’t sell the Quest 2 for a month, so any extra sales must have been made within the 2.5 months it has been available again. Estimates for world-wide sales at the time of the recall were 5mn, with an upper limit of 8mn.

      4.2mn USA/Canada + 5mn worldwide = 9.2mn and if the 5mn is more towards 8mn, it would have been 12.2mn..
      Also I agree with @disqus_6cdd6EPpor:disqus as it’s highly unlikely Qualcomm, as a direct partner of Meta, wouldn’t know the actual chips it shipped to Meta.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        No, it was 4.2mn USA/Canada + 0.8mn in other countries = 5mn worldwide. I don’t remember who came up with the 5mn number. Someone also calculated revenue reported by Facebook for different regions of the world in the division that would include all headset sales, and this ended up with 8mn Quest 2 worldwide max, if all the earnings were just from headset sales.

        • Seems ridiculously conservative to think only 0.8 million was sold in the rest of the world at that point.

          A thread on Twitter that might interest you:
          https://twitter.com/VRDesktop/status/1420243290016735232

          Guy Goden “Given that this number is US only, the worldwide total is likely close to 2M Quests and 8M Quest 2s if I had to guess.”

          Niclas Johansson
          “Having sold wearable consumer tech through worldwide channels, I agree that’s a reasonable estimate. US – ROW 1:1.”

          Guy Godin
          “I see 50% of sales in the US in my case”

          I know so many people with Quest 2’s in the UK. People that you’d never guess would have picked one up. I practically begged my friends since 2016 to get VR, eventually I stopped asking.

          And then a few of them suddenly get a Quest 2. And their friends… and so on.

          I understand that is anecdotal, but Europe and Asia is probably a significant market for Meta/Oculus.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The twitter thread contains a lot of different guesses, with e.g. someone calculating that according to Facebook earnings reports, at best 6mn could have been sold world-wide. Guy Godin reporting 50% of sales for VirtualDesktop in the US was an answer to Ryan Engle reporting 80% of purchases in the US.

            I don’t like guessing, as it depends too much on personal environment and circumstances and bias, so whenever someone says that they guess/believe/assume/agree to a number, one has to asks why.

            Even trying to calculate it is risky, as it depends on what you are looking at. One of the strange things about the 4.2mn recalled face pads was their distribution. 4mn in the US, only 172K in Canada. Divided by the population, one in 83 US citizens bought a Quest 2, but only 1 in 221 Canadians, meaning the Quest sold 2.66 times as often in the US per capita.

            Doing the same not by population, but by users on Steam, and then projecting the numbers onto the whole world, you get 5.5mn Quest 2 worldwide, if it were as popular everywhere as with Steam users in Canada, but a whopping 27.7mn Quest 2 if it was as popular everywhere as with Steam users in the US. Add to that that the Quest isn’t actually sold world-wide, e.g. neither in China nor in Germany, the much smaller international sales compared to the US aren’t completely unreasonable.

            Unfortunately we only have this one number of 4mn US plus 0.172mn Canada, and even that only because Meta had to give the number of affected customers to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, who published the recall including the numbers. Any result has therefore been regarded as just a rough estimate, but lacking any actual sales numbers reported by Meta, these are unfortunately the best numbers we have.

      • Yeah, they backtracked because it’s Meta that wanted to do the announcement

  • guest

    It used to be called dumping and it can be outlawed. It is also unsustainable in the longterm, especially if competitor does it too.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      There isn’t a law to outlaw selling your hardware at (material)costs, and the Quest 2 is sold at least at materialcosts.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        John Carmack during his Connect 2021 keynote:

        Like Mark said, we sell our headsets, you know, at a loss or break even, there is no profit in the headsets, so there is no way that a company could go and say “I want to make a budget headset, I’m going to undercut the prices here.” without wanting to be able to negotiate for a cut of the ecosystem revenue. That’s just kind of the way those things work.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          As I said, it’s certainly sold at material costs, and all the extra accessories (like the deluxe strap) are sold with a good profit. And people seem to bitch about it in regard to Meta, but Sony and Microsoft are doing exactly the same thing, only Nintendo underpowers their hardware so they can sell it with a small profit.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            The PS3 was the last console sold Sony at loss, starting with PS4 they sold at cost from the start and later in the lifecyle with profit. I don’t know about the Xbox. All of them eat the development and marketing costs with the idea of making the money back with a percentage of the software sales. That works fine if you sell 115mn PS4 plus almost 1.6bn games for it, but Meta most certainly loses a lot of money on the Quest, with no way to make that back with accessories or software sales for years.

            I don’t think that this is in any way outrageous or illegal. Every business that relies on network effects where a large number of users will be needed, and having a large number of users increases the chance to get more, requires a huge, long term investment up front. It is just important to keep in mind when comparing the Quest 2 and Meta’s strategy to other companies. There are things that only Meta can do, and other companies not following their example is not a sign of incompetence.

    • ViRGiN

      Sounds like index owner trying to convince himself that his over 2 year old $1000 paperweight is a good investment and value for cost.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    That’s a lot of units, even more than Microsoft sold xbox series X/S, that’s very impressive IMHO.

    • Bob

      “even more than Microsoft sold xbox series X/S”

      Source?

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Well, by the end of oktober it was suggested the xbox sold about 9 million.

  • jimmy

    BullShit they worked with them for years they deliver them In hand all the soc they know exactly how much they sold how could they do any kind of accounting without that information as blue chip public company

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Of course they know how much they have sold Meta, they probably also know how much Meta will buy from them in 2022. But is is very safe to assume that their contracts with Meta do not allow them to reveal these numbers to the public. So all the CEO can do is quote numbers that are already public, in this case Quest 2 sales estimates published by 3rd party analysts.

      • Sven Viking

        Also total chips shipped doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been sold in (or even assembled into) headsets yet. It would give a pretty good impression of how many headsets are likely to be sold in the nearish future though.

  • Yeah, they’re all estimates at this point. I already knew that.

  • I guess that Meta wants to do the announcement by itself, so it got angry by Qualcomm saying this before

  • Lucidfeuer

    As usual, fake numbers (which from a stock’s market POV should be illegal) then retractation. The Quest 2 -shipped- about 6 millions, which is already really good for a proto-VR headset.