The advice not to count your eggs before they hatch might not be that familiar in Taiwan. That or HTC is refusing to heed it because that might be exactly what its about to do with it still unlaunched virtual reality business. Despite the Vive VR headset still absent from the retail market, HTC CEO Cher Wang was rumored to set up a new subsidiary that will focus on virtual reality. The idea might have investor support, as HTC’s shares reportedly went up by 5.30% when word of the rumor broke out. Sadly, HTC has officially killed of the rumor, saying it won’t be doing anything like that at all.
It’s not that unusual for companies to create subsidiaries of their businesses in order to create more focus on a product or service, either because of resounding success or imminent failure. In the case of HTC’s virtual reality efforts, however, neither have come to pass yet. The Vive, the VR headset that HTC has been working on with Valve, has yet to hit the market. And it might hit the market hard if the rumored “over $1,000” price tag is anywhere near the truth.
If the spinoff became true, it would be HTC’s most daring venture to date, though reportedly one that has been set in motion in early 2015. The Taiwanese manufacturer has made forays into other products, including an action cam and a fitness kit, the latter in partnership with Under Armor, neither of which have been spun off. At least not yet.
Uncharacteristically, HTC immediately made a statement to refute those rumors. It is not spinning off a virtual reality business. Instead, it will “continue to develop our VR business to further maximize value for shareholders.”. In short, everything will still be in house. Now to wait how the company’s shares look after this deflating revelation.
All of these hinge on how well the VR market will perform in the next few year. Naturally, there are many who predict that it will take off. HTC’s own Wang envisions VR headsets, particularly its own, will be used for more than just entertainment, like in education and medicine. Those, of course, are all hopeful forward-looking estimates. This isn’t virtual reality’s first rodeo, and the first one didn’t exactly have a satisfying ending. Coincidentally, by spinning out its VR business, HTC might also be able to shield itsefl from that fallout. It could still happen, but not today.