HTC might be look­ing to sell or spin off its Vive vir­tual re­al­ity busi­ness

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS - By Lu­cas Mat­ney

HTC, whose mo­bile hand­sets ruled the smart­phone world of yes­ter­year, is work­ing with an ad­viser to ex­am­ine some pretty sig­nif­i­cant “strate­gic op­tions” as it aims to find a path for­ward, Bloomberg re­ports. These steps in­clude the pos­si­bil­i­ties of sell­ing its Vive vir­tual re­al­ity arm or sim­ply spin­ning it off into a sep­a­rate ven­ture.

We’ve reached out to HTC for com­ment.

The re­port noted that a full sale of the Tai­wanese tech firm was less likely given that its busi­ness which en­com­passes a wide scope of ef­forts didn’t “fit ob­vi­ously with one ac­quirer.” Noth­ing is fi­nal, and Bloomberg’s sources main­tained that they may chose not to go through with any of these op­tions.

HTC’s core busi­ness has faced a ma­jor down­turn in the past decade, with its stock falling 75 per­cent in the past five years and nearly 95 per­cent since its all-time high in April of 2011. The com­pany is cur­rently worth about $1.8 bil­lion.

As the com­pany’s hand­set busi­ness has slowed in China and the US sig­nif­i­cantly, HTC has in­vested ma­jor re­sources into seek­ing to get ahead of the vir­tual re­al­ity in­dus­try and es­tab­lish it­self as a ma­jor pres­ence. In ad­di­tion to its hard­ware pur­suits, HTC has launched a VR ac­cel­er­a­tor, an in­vest­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion de­voted to VR com­pa­nies and a 3,500 square foot VR ar­cade in Tai­wan called Vive­land.

The com­pany’s flag­ship head­set made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the gam­ing com­pany Valve still seems to be out­selling Face­book’s Ocu­lus Rift hand­ily ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts, but nei­ther com­pany has re­leased unit sales fig­ures. Ear­lier this week, HTC de­liv­ered the first sig­nif­i­cant price cut to the head­set, tak­ing the price down from $799 to $599.

HTC also man­u­fac­tures Google’s Pixel phone which was in­tro­duced last year, a de­vice which was the first to show­case Google’s Day­dream vir­tual re­al­ity plat­form. HTC is set to re­lease a stand­alone po­si­tion­ally-tracked head­set in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Google based on the Day­dream plat­form later this year as well.

The com­pany’s flag­ship head­set made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the gam­ing com­pany Valve is se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion for Face­book’s Ocu­lus Rift.

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