HTC, whose mobile handsets ruled the smartphone world of yesteryear, is working with an adviser to examine some pretty significant “strategic options” as it aims to find a path forward, Bloomberg reports. These steps include the possibilities of selling its Vive virtual reality arm or simply spinning it off into a separate venture.
We’ve reached out to HTC for comment.
The report noted that a full sale of the Taiwanese tech firm was less likely given that its business which encompasses a wide scope of efforts didn’t “fit obviously with one acquirer.” Nothing is final, and Bloomberg’s sources maintained that they may choose not to go through with any of these options.
HTC’s core business has faced a major downturn in the past decade, with its stock falling 75 percent in the past five years and nearly 95 percent since its all-time high in April of 2011. The company is currently worth about $1.8 billion.
As the company’s handset business has slowed in China and the US significantly, HTC has invested major resources into seeking to get ahead of the virtual reality industry and establish itself as a major presence. In addition to its hardware pursuits, HTC has launched a VR accelerator, an investment organization devoted to VR companies and a 3,500 square foot VR arcade in Taiwan called Viveland.
The company’s flagship headset made in collaboration with the gaming company Valve still seems to be outselling Facebook’s Oculus Rift handily according to analysts, but neither company has released unit sales figures. Earlier this week, HTC delivered the first significant price cut to the headset, taking the price down from $799 to $599.
HTC also manufactures Google’s Pixel phone which was introduced last year, a device which was the first to showcase Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform. HTC is set to release a standalone positionally-tracked headset in collaboration with Google based on the Daydream platform later this year as well.