At a shareholders meeting in Taoyuan, Taiwan on Friday, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang bowed and apologized for the close to half-billion dollar loss the company made in the last financial year. Wang admitted that an apology was insufficient “to solve the issues” but remained confident that virtual reality would be the saving grace for the embattled company.
Although Wang wouldn’t give an answer to the shareholders as to when they could expect the company to return to profitability, Wang assured them it was not difficult to make the HTC Vive profitable. She encouraged further investment in VR to build a strong ecosystem and make the Vive the dominant VR platform.
Given VR's importance for HTC's survival, Wang announced a wholly owned VR subsidiary.
HTC has already seeded a $100 million accelerator program in San Francisco, Beijing and Taipei to generate more content for its VR and speed up the technology, and Wang outlined plans to expand the program further. Given VR’s importance for HTC’s survival, Wang also announced a wholly owned VR subsidiary.
The HTC 10 has reportedly generated a profit through retail channels since its launch several months ago and helped to boost interest in other HTC devices by 20%. Despite this recent upswing, the fundamentally flawed HTC One M9 provided much lower sales than expected and damaged HTC’s overall performance from Q2, 2015 until Q1, 2016.
While it isn’t too far fetched to expect the HTC 10 and the HTC Vive to provide a solid financial year for HTC moving forward, a $477.85 million dollar loss (NT$15.53 billion) is unlikely to make investors feel overly confident in Wang’s leadership. With any luck, her leadership will last long enough to see HTC’s fortunes swing around.
What are your thoughts on HTC’s future? Will VR truly save the day?
See also: Flashbacks and Forecasts: HTC in 2016