And it seems as if HTC’s downward spiral continues. The latest in its seemingly never-ending doomsday news cycle comes today in the form of a pair of reports from Focus Taiwan, with the former suggesting that the lower-specced HTC 10 has been an absolute flop in China and the latter saying that the company has formed a completely separate company for its VR ambitions…
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Let’s tackle these one at a time. First off, I’m having a really hard time believing this report about the HTC 10’s sales in China. While we can’t comment on the lower-specced model that the company launched there in an effort to bring prices down (we’ve never even touched it), it seems absolutely unbelievable to hear that the company has sold “only 251 units” in its first eleven days of presale.
The report has it:
Chinese consumers have poured cold water on the HTC 10, the latest flagship model of Taiwan’s HTC Corp., with preorder sales data there showing a lack of interest in the new device in the China market.
HTC kicked off a preorder sales campaign on two major Chinese e-commerce platforms — TMall and Jingdong Mall — on April 25. Eleven days into the preorder sale, only 251 units of the HTC 10 have been ordered.
According to the report, Chinese customers just aren’t happy that HTC went with the Snapdragon 652 over the flagship-level Snapdragon 820 processor that the device launched with elsewhere in the world. The HTC 10 is priced lower in China at roughly $584, but that price drop apparently wasn’t enough to convince Chinese consumers to go for the Taiwanese company’s latest device. We’re definitely a bit skeptical of the amazingly tiny number, but we’re not exactly surprised that the phone hasn’t been a runaway hit considering that far better phones can be had in China for much lower prices.
To add to HTC’s woes today, local media in Taiwan reported that the company has formed a separate firm with plans to develop new technology. That alone wouldn’t be bad news, but rumor has it that the company is actually being formed to house HTC’s VR efforts. The company was “set up at the end of last year for developing the virtual reality business,” reports Focus Taiwan, adding that the company “is planning to spin off the new company in the future.”
Things are a little murky for now, but reports suggest that the new VR company is expected to be completely spun off from the Taiwanese giant, controlled entirely by HTC co-founder Cher Wang. Focus Taiwan reports that, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, “the new company has paid-in capital of NT$1 million and Wang is its chairwoman.” The data also shows that “HTC founder Cho Ho-tu and Wang’s husband Chen Wen-chi are on the board of directors.”
It’s unclear which of these reports contributed most — the answer is probably “both” — but HTC’s stock is down 10% on the day.