HTC has not given up yet, not at all, at least according to the company's chairperson, and former CEO, Cher Wang. She gave a statement (well, several of them, during a mini interview) quite recently at CES 2019, stating that the company is positive about its business prospects in 2019, and that it will continue to push its handset business forward, thus denying rumors that HTC is looking to focus on VR only, and sell off its smartphone business. Cher Wang did say that the company is also aiming to achieve a significant VR revenue growth, though, so VR is still in HTC's sights, definitely. HTC is planning to achieve VR revenue growth by "offering integrated hardware, platform, content, and related services", said the company's chairperson.
Now, 5G was arguably the most interesting part of Cher Wang's statement, as she did mention that HTC is working on a 5G-enabled smartphone, but that the company's phone will not launch before the second half of the year. She also added that the company is taking 5G seriously, but that it wants to provide consumers with the best experience possible, and the company does not think that the market is mature enough for a 5G-enabled phones, which may as well be true, as 5G will become a thing at the end of this year, once carriers start offering such speeds, but it will not become a standard anytime soon. The company will focus on the development of 5G mobile smart hub products while we're waiting for its 5G smartphone, though, so that everything is ready to go when the time comes. She also said that the arrival of commercial operations of 5G networks will lead to a take-off of AV/VR applications, and that an integration of 5G, AR / VR, AI, and blockchain technologies will only benefit HTC in the long-term. Cher Wang did further comment on its VR operations, of course, she said that HTC plans to add some more hardware to its VR portfolio by launching a refreshed Vive Pro Eye headset in the second quarter of this year.
That is pretty much everything that Cher Wang had to say during its mini interview at CES 2019. HTC's smartphone sales have been plummeting for quite some time now, and the company is nowhere near the place it used to occupy, this company was one the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and they're nowhere to be found now. HTC is, arguably, making really compelling mobile products, at least as far as the high-end segment is concerned, but that basically comes down to one product, the company's annual "U" flagship, and that is definitely not enough for HTC to move up in the world (of smartphones). HTC has been dropping the ball in the entry-level and mid-range segments for quite some time now, their products were often inferior to the ones competitors produce, and often more expensive as well, which is something the market is not ready to accept any more, even Samsung is losing ground in those sectors due to its prices. All in all, it remains to be seen what exactly is HTC planning, and will it be able to move from a rather difficult position in the smartphone market.