At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC CEO Wang Xuehong described the company's blueprint for the future - focusing on VR / AR, the latest move to launch its new business strategy "Vive Reality."
HTC has been turmoiled recently - President Cailin Chang of the smart phone and connected device business resigns, and the VR and smartphone divisions have merged, but it seems that the smart phone manufacturer with a glorious history is paying more attention to and investing in immersive platforms than ever before.
This move does not happen suddenly. The company is widely recognized as one of the pioneers in smartphones, but over the years the smartphone business has been overwhelmed - losing more than five consecutive years. HTC is currently reorganizing its business by consolidating its mobile and Vive divisions globally, with a focus on the latter.
Recently, HTC sold most of its smartphone team to Google for US$1.1 billion, and half of the HTC smartphone R&D department moved to Google, which has significantly reduced the company’s competitiveness in this area.
It is unclear whether Google will once again invite HTC to produce Pixel 3 this year -- Google may not need to do so after completing part of the $1.1 billion deal. Last month, the two companies reached an agreement to allow Google to use HTC's patent portfolio for commercial purposes, which enabled HTC to better continue its future hardware projects. HTC is now refocusing on AR and VR work. It is expected that the commercialization of the upcoming 5G network will allow AR and VR to gain mass popularity in the near future and reverse the declining trend of its business.
For HTC, the near future will be a 5G connected world. AR / VR simulator devices can extend their capabilities through cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The company’s reliance on its VR platform is clear – Vive, Vive Pro and Vive Focus (the company’s 6DoF mobile VR headset, launched in China).
Wang Xuehong further emphasized the importance of AR and VR simulator to HTC, saying that VR and AR devices will become "the most important portal for accessing AI." It makes sense for HTC to devote more time and money to what it believes will be more successful and to reduce losses where possible.