… however the ultimate question of price remains unanswered. In an interview on the Guardian, HTC CEO Cher Wang announced the February 29th pre-order date, with wider commercials sales beginning in April. Perhaps of more interest from the interview is just how much HTC is betting the company on Virtual Reality. Suddenly HTCs involvement with VR seems a great deal more… significant.
From the Telegraph article:
HTC will start taking pre-orders for Vive, its virtual reality headset, from February 29, its chief executive has confirmed.
Cher Wang told the Telegraph the company had chosen to refocus on virtual reality (VR) and away from smartphones, saying the company was now “more realistic”.
Vive has been developed with game maker Valve, designed to fully immerse its wearer in their virtual environment while playing games. It will go on wider commercial sale in April, and will compete with Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR as the technology finally enters the mainstream. Its price remains unknown.
From the linked interview:
When asked what went wrong, Wang doesn’t dodge the question. “Our flagship is in direct competition with several others, we have had some problems with it for two years,” she admits.
“I think the problem was competition – Apple, Xiaomi, these companies spend tons of money on communications and marketing, they pump a huge amount of investment into the market. There are a lot of Chinese competitors.”
So will HTC finally fold up its smartphone business this year?
Wang doesn’t deny this as vehemently as expected. “Now we are more realistic. We feel that we should apply our best design to different type of sectors,” she says. “Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important.”
I have been an HTC fan for several years, starting back with the HTC TYTN right up until the HTC One, which I recently gave up on and replaced with a Galaxy S6. They are capable of making a high quality and innovation devices when they set their mind to it. As I mentioned just a few days ago HTC has the opportunity to win the VR war before it begins. Seeing now that they are basically betting the company on it, I can’t help but cheer for them.