Although the gaming world might best know HTC as the manufacturer of the Vive virtual reality headset, HTC is a generalist consumer electronics manufacturer that makes devices for a wide range of applications including smartphones and tablets. However, the company has lost 75% of its market value over the last five years; this is perhaps best reflected by the fact that their smartphone devices hold less than 2% market share worldwide.
The company is exploring a range of options to ensure its future as a business including spinning off the Vive division as a separate entity or selling the entire company wholesale. However, sources close to the matter have indicated that a full sale of the company isn’t likely as the various different divisions of HTC wouldn’t make sense to purchase as a package deal. Sources say that the company is seeking strategic investors such as Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
The company has made efforts to refocus its strategy on the growing VR business, although they are not going all-in on the prospect; the smartphone unit is attempting a revival with the U11 handset and they’ve secured a contract manufacturing deal to assemble Google Pixel phones. HTC has the distinction of having made the first Android phone in 2008.
Do you think that the Vive headset could save HTC or do they need to produce a more diverse range of products in order to survive as a company? Would you be concerned about the future of the virtual reality division if the company were to be acquired by Alphabet? How cheap would the VR headset need to be before you considered it a must-buy? Let us know in the comments below!