Struggling electronics giant HTC still sees salvation in 5G and VR technologies. Its recently appointed CEO, Yves Maitre, said as much in this week's interview with Chinese outlet UDN.
More specifically, the industry veteran confirmed HTC's first 5G-ready smartphone will be releasing later this year. While details on the matter remain slim, the handset in question will presumably run Android out of the box.
At the same time, HTC will be doubling down on virtual reality applications, Maitre announced. The CEO also reiterated the firm's growing focus on mixed reality technologies as part of the same interview.
In essence, a combination of 5G, VR, and AR is how HTC hopes to get out of its current predicament. Maitre took over HTC last September after the company's co-founder, Cher Wang, stepped down amid disastrous business results. The company's revenues more than halved throughout 2019, prompting that radical leadership change. Ms. Wang is still an active member of the conglomerate's board.
Can HTC afford waiting for 5G and VR returns?
The former Orange EVP has been describing VR as a crucial component of the firm's long-term strategy ever since. Underlining that strategy is a slew of product announcements HTC made on Thursday. Its latest portfolio revolves around the Vive Cosmos Play, Vive Cosmos XR, and Vive Cosmos Elite headsets.
According to Maitre, the firm's adamant to continue increasing its focus on virtual reality moving forward, particularly in the entertainment niche. That doesn't mean HTC is planning on becoming a major video game developer and jeopardize its partnership with Valve; on the contrary, the struggling Taiwanese company sees VR as the ideal space for collaborative medium- and long-term growth.
HTC now appears to be going down the road that will soon pit it directly against Facebook's Oculus and Sony's PlayStation VR. It plans to outshine its rivals through more premium headset experiences, including the newly unveiled Vive Cosmos portfolio.
Even though the 5G segment appears somewhat more complicated in comparison, HTC's approach to it will be similar. Maitre hence repeatedly asserted the firm's interest in the next generation of wireless will be solely focused on consumer-facing solutions. A sound strategy for a manufacturer that likely can't afford yet another massive investment in any niche of technology.
Just over a decade ago, HTC was one of the most promising names in the then-exploding smartphone industry. After falling behind many other brands, it found itself in need of massive diversification efforts, which remain its only hope of survival to this day.