Headphones exclusively for HTC Vive to go on sale in June

2017/05/03 16:53:14
Headphones exclusively for HTC Vive to go on sale in June

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. (宏達電), which has aggressively entered the virtual reality arena, said Wednesday that headphones geared exclusively for use with its first VR headset, the HTC Vive, will go on sale globally on June 6.

The headphones -- the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap -- will be available on the Vive.com online platform as well as authorized distributors worldwide. The new gadget will carry a price tag of NT$3,499 (US$116) in Taiwan.

According to HTC, the headphones will enable users to quickly adjust their fit and get them in place, making it suitable for multi-user environments.

The new headphones also offer added comfort and weight balancing to help users better enjoy immersive VR experiences, and their height and angle adjustment make putting on and taking off the VR headset easier, the company said.

The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap will be included free of charge with the business edition of the HTC Vive, according to the company.

HTC is keen to broaden its product portfolio at a time when its smartphone business has encountered escalating competition.

The Vive is one of HTC's gambits to diversify away from its core smartphone market and create new revenue streams to turn around its money-losing business.

Jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, the Vive was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show in March 2015 and officially went on sale worldwide in April 2016.

Despite the efforts to launch the Vive, HTC, faced with escalating competition in the global smartphone market, extended losses in 2016 from a year earlier, incurring a loss per share of NT$12.81.

It was the second biggest loss in the company's history after a loss per share of NT$18.79 in 2015.

Market analysts said sales in the Vive still only account for a small fraction of HTC's total revenue.

According to an estimate from the Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業研究院), the Vive is expected to remain the third largest VR headset brand in 2017 after the PlayStation VR headset and the Oculus Rift headset.

On Wednesday, shares of HTC closed unchanged at NT$70.90 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, where the weighted index ended up 0.14 percent.

(By Jeffery Wu and Frances Huang)
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