HTC reportedly thinking of selling its Vive virtual reality business

By @ULB1N on
HTC Vive
A pair of HTC's Vive Virtual Reality (VR) goggles, is seen during annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan June 1, 2016. Reuters/Tyrone Siu

HTC is reportedly weighing in on whether to sell its virtual reality business. Its Vive subsidiary is currently the only thing that’s going well for the company now that it has lost its grip on the smartphone industry. The Taiwan-based consumer electronics giant is also said to be considering a full sale of the company.

HTC used to be on top of the smartphone market. After all, the company is the manufacturer of the world’s first commercially released mobile device to use the Linux-based Android operating system.

The HTC Dream – also known as the T-Mobile G1 in the US and some regions in Europe, and as the Era G1 in Poland – was launched back in September 2008 to mostly positive reviews. HTC was a top smartphone contender back then. Unfortunately, not the same thing can be said now that the industry has been taken over by Apple and Samsung.

The once formidable hardware maker has been struggling for relevance and losing money in recent times. It seems that the company has dug itself a hole so deep that it’s now reportedly considering selling the only thing that’s currently keeping its business running: its Vive VR unit. What’s worse, HTC is also exploring selling itself as a whole.

According to Bloomberg, HTC is working with an adviser with a sale of some kind in mind. The company has reportedly talked with other firms like Google. It is highly unlikely, however, that HTC gets wholly absorbed since the acquisition would prove to be a large-scale purchase even for a giant firm.

HTC has reportedly dropped roughly 75 percent of its value over the past half-decade due its struggling smartphone market. Its virtual reality business is still doing well, thanks to 190,000 unit shipments of its Vive VR headset during the first quarter. HTC sweetened the deal for those who haven’t bought the hardware earlier this week when it slashed US$200 off the headset’s original price in the US. In Australia, the Vive currently has a AU$300 price cut.

Back in December of last year, HTC launched its own VR-developing unit called Vive Studios to release games from both the company and external developers. One of its internal unit, 2 Bears Studio, developed the company’s first virtual reality game called “Arcade Saga,” a collection of three mini games that includes 84 levels. In late January, HTC Vive senior designer Claude Zellweger left the company and joined Google to work on the California-based tech titan’s Daydream mobile VR platform.