HTC who are currently talking to Australian retailers about their new Vive VR headset, is set to establish a separate Company to market and sell the new device.
Shortly after news relating to the split emerged share in HTC surged, gaining 5.30 per cent to NT$76.60 (US$2.28), with 9.57 million shares changing hand, according to Focus Taiwan.
Cher Wang, chairwoman and chief executive, is said to be seriously considering the spin-off, the Commercial Times in Taiwan has reported.
Wang recently told the Telegraph that while smartphones “are important, to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important.”
HTC has invested heavily in its innovative Vive VR headset, created in collaboration with gaming platform Valve, which it first announced at Mobile World Congress last year. Pre-orders for the consumer version will open on February 29.
While early journalist reviews of Vive have been wholly positive, HTC’s phone business has been having a distinctly rougher ride. Despite being widely regarded as a pioneering early manufacturer of Android handsets, intense competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung has quashed its share of the global smartphone market from more than 10 per cent at its 2011 peak, to around 1 per cent.
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The company reported an operating loss of around $151m alongside revenue of $660 million in its most recent third quarter results, almost half the $1.3 billion the year before – and a significant drop from the $1 billion in its preceding quarter.
If true, the move would represent clear plans to distance HTC’s potentially lucrative VR future from its ailing smartphone division, protecting the VIve’s future in the face of ever-louder analyst fears the company may go bankrupt. HTC has been contacted for comment.
Sources said HTC and Wang would initially own the new VR company outright, and have been said to be gauging employee willingness to work for the new business.