If the above is the HTC mobile phone business has repeatedly hit a new low in personnel size, then the actual performance is also true. In the past 2017, HTC's revenue was NT$62.12 billion (US$2.11 billion), the lowest level in 13 years. Entering this year, according to statistics from the first three months of this year, HTC's first quarter revenue was 8.79 billion yuan (about 301 million US dollars), down 44.1% from the previous month, down 39.5% year-on-year, the lowest level in 16 years.
From the scale of the new low-cost mobile phone business (personnel and performance), we can easily see that HTC's mobile phone business has basically been "cool", and the only hope is its VR business.
But history is always strikingly similar. In 2011, HTC's situation in the smart phone field was similar to that of the current VR market, and it was well known around the world. However, due to the patent war that followed and the misplaced product positioning, it quickly declined.
Referring to the patent war, in the second half of 2011, the Apple and Android camps broke out in the patent battle. HTC, the representative of the Android camp, was the first to suffer the impact, that is, it was banned in the United States. Although Apple and HTC reached a settlement at the end of 2012, the ban is undoubtedly a fatal blow to HTC, which has the highest market share in North America. In the first half of 2011, HTC's market share in the United States reached 23%. After the ban was implemented, HTC's US market share fell sharply to 6.2%, behind Apple, Samsung and LG. As of today, there are reports that HTC's share in the smartphone market. It is less than 0.5%. More unfortunately, after this, HTC has also been subject to patent infringement lawsuits from competitors in European multinational markets, and its products have been banned by countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom. At this point, HTC's position in the Western market has been lingering.
Compared with smart phones, VR/AR technology is still in the stage of extensive research and development. However, with the development of the VR/AR industry, companies that have acquired more VR patented technologies in the future will naturally gain a greater competitive advantage. As an early entry into the VR field, how does HTC perform in VR patents?
According to several VR/AR patent reports,MicrosoftTechnology companies such as Sony, Samsung, Google, Panasonic, Oculus VR, and Magic leap are developing VR technology.DevelopmentThe ecosystem of designers and designers is also being formed. In contrast, HTC has a small number of patents in this field (whether it is a VR hardware or software patent).
Although HTC has formed a professional IP team for its virtual reality products and claimed that this team will help HTC to apply for VR patents, it is clearly behind the number of VR-related patents currently held by HTC. The state, at least compared to the main rivals Sony and Oculus. And Lenovo's previous HTC mobile phone in the past battle of the patent war, had to let the industry for HTC bet on the future VR field will repeat the same sweat.
When it comes to HTC mobile phone's other loss--product positioning, the industry knows that HTC always focuses on the high-end market, but it does not have the strength to compete with Samsung and Apple. Whether it is technology research or brand influence, marketing expenses, HTC is not The opponents of the two giants. The positioning of high-end strategy naturally makes HTC not pay attention to low-end and mid-range mobile phones. The low cost performance of products is being squandered by consumers, leading to valuable growth opportunities in the global mobile phone market in the past three years, especially in China's mobile phone market. The manufacturer snatched away.
According to the big data service provider QuestMobile recently released the China Mobile Internet Data Report for the first quarter of 2018, HTC, which has a 0.4% market share on the list in December last year, has been classified as a “other” brand in its mobile phone business in China. Already near extinction.
Compared to the product positioning of the aforementioned smartphones, HTC launched its own Vive product as early as 2016. One of the main competitive advantages is that it is compatible with Steam through Valve's SteamVR standard. But in the latest Steam hardware statistics of January this year, the use of its main competitor Oculus equipment surpassed Vive for the first time. Although it doesn't mean that Oculus' sales exceed Vive, it can at least prove that Oculus has been cut in price. (As we all know, last summer, after Oculus Rift was on Steam, Oculus lowered the price of Rift touch controller set to $399, in order to cope with competition, although HTC will Vive's price has dropped from $799 to $599, but it's obviously higher than Oculus's price. A series of initiatives have been increasingly welcomed by game users. Similar to the strategy of smart phones, although the price/performance ratio is the key to promoting VR growth for a long time now and in the future, HTC seems to still insist that prices are not relaxed, and this is likely to make it once again lose its growth opportunities like in the smartphone industry.
In addition, Oculus Home also released an update last year, allowing Rift users to spare the SteamVR interface and connect directly to the SteamVR platform via the Oculus platform. Moreover, Rift is relatively easy to set up and is used on the Steam platform, while HTC Vive does not fully support the Oculus platform. If Vive users want to access all Oculus exclusive games and apps, they must use a third-party solution.
In summary, we believe that HTC really wants to “cool” not only in the new low-key mobile phone business, but more importantly, its VR field in the final bet seems to be re-entering its previous decline in the smartphone market. The old road, and if the future HTC can not be corrected in time (such as increasing the investment and accumulation of patents and adjustment of product strategy), HTC is really cool once the VR business with advantages is opened.