Wed, Jun 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Hoping for a ‘Vive Reality,’ HTC to invest in new technology to spur long-term growth

Staff writer, with CNA

HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday said it would invest resources in new technologies as part of its continued efforts to seek opportunities for long-term growth.

The company aims to invest in technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of the Things and 5G applications, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said in an annual report.

The firm is also interested in applications of blockchain technology, which is a platform for digital transaction records, she said.

“As new innovations are introduced in the 5G era, smartphones will need to take new forms,” Wang said.

In January, HTC completed a deal to sell some of its smartphone assets to Google, which is expected to streamline its operations for greater efficiency, she said.

“The proceeds from the sale will give our company greater financial flexibility and provide the funds for us to invest in new technologies,” Wang said.

Under the deal, HTC sold its smartphone original design manufacturing (ODM) assets to Google for US$1.1 billion and transferred 2,000 engineers to the US company.

The US tech giant was also granted non-exclusive rights to use HTC patents.

When the proceeds from the deal were booked in the first quarter, HTC posted a net profit of NT$21.1 billion (US$707.7 million), with earnings per share of NT$25.70.

Prior to the sale, the company had posted losses for 11 straight quarters, with last year’s fourth-quarter report showing a net loss of NT$9.8 billion.

The deal with Google has helped lower HTC’s operating costs, Wang said, adding that with its workforce, the company has a good foundation for growth.

With the disposal of its smartphone ODM assets, HTC can now focus on developing models under its own brand, she said.

Following the launch of its first virtual reality (VR) headset, the HTC Vive, on the global market in 2016, the company has been offering discounts on the device, which has boosted sales over the past year, Wang said.

In the second quarter of this year, HTC started shipments of its Vive Pro, an upgraded version of the original VR headset, and has stepped up its efforts to develop additional VR content.

As HTC continues to invest in innovation, the company hopes to realize its vision for a “Vive Reality,” Wang said.

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