While HTC has been somewhat buoyed by the positive reaction to its U11 flagship and the Vive virtual reality division, the Taiwanese company is now exploring “strategic options.” The possibilities range from selling its key VR business to a sale of the entire company.
According to Bloomberg, HTC is working with a financial advisor on what to do with its Vive VR division. Options include bringing on a strategic investor, selling, or spinning off that business entirely.
Update 8/25: Google has been named as one of the companies that HTC held talks with. During Android’s early days, the two had a close relationship, with HTC serving as manufacturer for the Pixel and Pixel XL last year. Of course, that relationship was heavily criticized due to mass supply constraints. This year, HTC is only rumored to be the maker of a smaller Pixel device. Google declined to comment on the rumors of a discussion.
In recent years, the HTC Vive has been one of the company’s few crowning achievements as its smartphone business declines. HTC’s marketshare in the space has declined to under 2%, while market value has fallen approximately 75% over a five-year period.
A sale of HTC entirely is less likely given how the company’s full range of assets and businesses are not as appealing to a solitary buyer. If something occurs, it will likely be limited to the Vive group.
Finding success with the Vive, which was built-in partnership with Steam, HTC is expanding to standalone VR headsets later this year. As announced at I/O, HTC is working on a standalone Daydream headset with Google for the US. It’s also planning a device for the Chinese market, where it has a large foothold.