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article imageHTC could sell off Vive VR business as it seeks new strategy

By James Walker     Aug 25, 2017 in Technology
HTC is reportedly considering several strategic options as it struggles to succeed in the increasingly competitive technology market. The company could sell off its Vive virtual reality business, seeing it withdraw from VR. Google might be the buyer.
HTC was once one of the leaders in smartphone technology. An early pioneer in the field, HTC dominated Windows Mobile and then early Android devices with a series of popular flagship phones. That was before Apple and Samsung rose to dominance, an event which has seen HTC's market share dwindle and new phones be buried amongst the crowd.
In recent years, HTC has had a recovery of sorts through strong interest in its virtual reality business. Its Vive VR headset appeared almost from nowhere but became an overnight threat to the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. HTC has managed to climb its way back to the top of an industry again, helping to shape desktop virtual reality.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the company could now sell or spin off its Vive business in an attempt to generate revenue. HTC has brought in external strategic advisors to assist it in crafting a new business plan. Nothing is currently considered final and there are several possible options.
Selling the Vive could give HTC some much needed cash. With the headset well-regarded and generally considered a success, it could attract multiple competing bidders. Google is said to be one of the interested parties, potentially eyeing the Vive as an addition to its own virtual reality ecosystem.
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The Vive is likely to be HTC's most successful business in today's market. If it is sold, it's unclear what HTC will focus on next. It's still struggling to regain its image in the smartphone market, although recent launches have proved to be its most accomplished in years. The company's also responsible for building Google's Pixel, a contract that's certain to be aiding HTC's recovery.
Even so, it's difficult to see how selling the Vive will benefit HTC in the long-term. A sale could shore up its finances over the next couple of years but may ultimately prove to be a misstep. Virtual reality is expected to explode into the next decade and HTC is currently well-placed to profit from its growth.
Aside from the Vive sale, HTC's reportedly considering options including a total spin-off of the Vive brand and a sale of the entire company. The latter option is thought to be unlikely since there's no clear buyer willing to purchase all of HTC.
The reports of a new strategy have driven HTC's stock price to its highest value in two weeks. The company's now worth $1.9 billion, 4.7 percent higher than the day's opening price. HTC has lost 75 percent of its value since its 2012 peak, owing to its inability to keep consumers interested in its smartphones.
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