Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp (宏達電), which has entered the virtual reality (VR) business, has benefited from enthusiasm over the metaverse concept to post a more than 20 percent month-on-month increase in sales.
HTC said in a statement on Thursday that it posted NT$576 million (US$20.8 million) in consolidated sales last month, up 24.4 percent from a month earlier, the second consecutive month-on-month increase on the back of increased shipments of its latest VR gadget, the portable Vive Flow.
Analysts consider the Vive Flow to be HTC’s attempt to embrace the so-called “metaverse,” a concept that has been talked up by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg since July last year. The idea refers to a digital world in which people can move between devices and communicate in a virtual environment.
Photo: Wang Yi-hung, Taipei Times
However, last month’s sales figure was down 6.35 percent from a year earlier, as competition in the global smartphone market escalated, analysts said.
HTC’s consolidated sales last year stood at NT$5.253 billion, down 9.52 percent from one year earlier, providing further evidence of stiff competition in the smartphone market.
HTC Vive Asia-Pacific general manager Charles Huang (黃昭穎) said the Vive Flow is smaller and lighter than its predecessors, which should help the device generate more sales than its counterparts in the Vive headset series.
The Vive Flow has an expansive 100-degree field of view, 3.2K resolution, and full 3D spatial audio that can connect to Bluetooth earphones, according to HTC product specifications.
Although HTC has been keen to explore business opportunities in the VR market, the company plans to continue its focus on the smartphone market and plans to unveil new models later this year, Huang said.
HTC said that it introduced new VR hardware and content at CES, one of the world’s leading electronics exhibitions, which ends today in Las Vegas. Products HTC is featuring include the first inside-out tracking device used by the Vive Focus 3, and healthcare content used by the Vive Flow.
The company’s Vive Pro 2 won the CES 2020 Innovation Award for demonstrating images through its premium 5K fidelity and 120-degree field of view, HTC said.
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