HTC Corp.’s foray into virtual-reality headsets comes straight out of the company’s playbook: they’re powerful, stylish and priced at a premium.
Cher Wang, HTC’s co-founder who took over as chief executive officer last year, is betting that virtual reality represents the future of computing. Yet so are Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sony Corp. and other companies with more influence over how people use and interact with technology. So far, reviewers have given the $799 HTC Vive high praise, saying that it offers a vivid experience that rivals or even tops machines such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlayStation VR. What remains to be seen is whether Wang can turn that enthusiasm into sales.
“The total addressable market for VR is not big enough for a turnaround,” said Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Sec Investment Trust Co. “In the long term — three to five years — I still don’t think virtual reality will drive HTC’s recovery.”
The Taiwanese manufacturer has a history of making hardware that tech geeks rave about, only to stumble when it comes to reaching consumers with the right marketing and distribution. Read More