HTC extends losses despite virtual reality venture
DEBBY WU, Nikkei staff writer
HTC lost 3.1 billion New Taiwan dollars ($98 million), or NT$3.71 per share on revenue of NT$18.9 billion in the second quarter ended in June. The Taiwanese company recognized a one-time gain of NT$1 billion from the sale of land it owned.
HTC started shipping its Vive virtual reality headset, priced at $799, in early April, but the company did not provide details on how much sales the gadget generated during the past quarter. Company officials also declined to comment on when HTC can break even on the new product.
"It is difficult for HTC to break even this year as their smartphones are continuing to face significant challenges while the Vive headgear is still only shipping in small quantities," said Jeff Pu, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting.
According to Pu's estimate, HTC has shipped some 80,000 headsets in the second quarter, while its primary competitor, Facebook-backed Oculus Rift, has shipped some 300,000 units with a price tag of $599 each in the first half of this year. He said that PC-based virtual reality is still facing critical glitches that need resolving before it can become a popular consumer product. For example, a powerful computer with a large memory is required for a superior virtual reality gaming experience.
Still, before earnings, HTC shares gained 2.3% to close at NT$97.9 each. They have gained more than 10% since the beginning of April.