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HTC might spin off Vive business or sell entire company

HTC might spin off Vive business or sell entire company


Nothing seems to be working

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HTC has brought on an adviser as it explores several paths for the struggling company’s future, according to Bloomberg. One idea under consideration spinning off or selling the Vive virtual reality business. Earlier this week, HTC lowered the price of its Vive headset by $200 in an attempt to make the immersive VR device accessible to more consumers.

Another option for HTC, which Bloomberg reports to be significantly less likely, is a sale of the entire company. But finding a single buyer for all of HTC won’t be easy, which makes separating the Vive and smartphone sides of the business a bit more practical. HTC’s financial earnings continue to trend downward, though the company has managed to curtail operating losses in recent quarters.

HTC’s latest flagship smartphone, the U11, has earned strong reviews for its fast performance and excellent camera, but it lags behind the latest products from Samsung and LG in design. (The red color sure is nice, though.) It’s also only sold by one major US carrier, Sprint, which limits its exposure compared to rivals whose flagships can be found on several mobile providers. ComScore estimates HTC’s US marketshare to be a little over 2 percent. HTC’s last phone before that, the U Ultra, received negative reviews and was never sold by US carriers.

HTC’s latest flagship Android smartphone is the U11.
HTC’s latest flagship Android smartphone is the U11.
Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

The Vive, however, has been a bright spot for HTC, recording sales of over 190,000 units in the first quarter according to IDC. A standalone version of the Vive is coming to China, and HTC has also been confirmed to be working on a standalone VR headset that will run Google’s virtual reality software.

But the phone business continues to flounder. With the U11 now on the market, HTC will next manufacture the Google Pixel 2, which is rumored to be announced on October 5th. Unlike last year, when HTC produced both Pixel smartphones, this time LG is believed to be handling the larger Pixel, which will have a more impressive display than the smaller model.