Taipei, Feb. 16 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp.(宏達電) is planning to launch a mobile virtual reality device as a follow up to its HTC Vive VR headset that was released last year, a technology website reported Thursday.
According to Cnet,, HTC's new VR device will be compatible with its latest flagship smartphone the HTC U Ultra and will give consumers the convenience of experiencing VR content wherever they go.
The company has a "good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR," Cnet said, quoting Chang Chia-lin (張嘉臨), president of HTC's smartphone and connected device division.
"Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you'll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it's not a phone slapped onto a headset," Chang was quoted as saying.
The new device will be unveiled by the end of 2017, according to the report.
In a recent research report, the Topology Research Institute said that Japan's Sony Corp., California-based Oculus VR and HTC are expected to continue to dominate the global virtual reality headset market in 2017.
According to the institute, Sony's PlayStation VR is expected to rank as the bestselling VR headset in the world this year with projected shipments of 2.5 million units, while the Oculus VR is expected to ship 1.2 million units, and the HTC Vive 600,000.
The HTC Vive was one of HTC's gambits to diversify from its core smartphone market in the hope of generating a new revenue stream to turn around its money-losing business.
Jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, the HTC Vive was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show in March 2015 and officially went on sale worldwide in April 2016.
However, it contributed only a small fraction to HTC's 2016 sales and failed to boost the company's bottom line since the VR business was still in the early stages, according to HTC.
HTC posted NT$10.56 billion (US$343 million) in net loss for 2016, extending its net loss of NT$15.53 billion in the previous year. Its loss per share for 2016 stood at NT$12.81, the second biggest loss in the company's history after its NT$18.79 in 2015.
Nonetheless, HTC has high hopes for its VR operations, saying that VR headsets will gain popularity because of a wider range of applications in areas such as education and healthcare.
Shares of HTC fell 0.51 percent Thursday to close at NT$78.50 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while the weighted index ended down 0.29 percent.
(By Esme Jiang and Frances Huang)