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HTC to offer Black Friday discounts on Vive in Europe

2017/11/22 15:31:01

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC Corp. (宏達電), which has entered the growing global virtual reality business, announced Wednesday it will offer discount deals for its first VR headset -- the HTC Vive -- to customers in the European market to tap the upcoming Black Friday buying spree.

The discount deals, which will offer savings of more than 150 pounds sterling (US$113), will be available from authorized Vive distributors in Europe and on Vive.com from Nov. 24-27, the smartphone brand said.

When consumers in Europe spend 599 pounds to buy a Vive, they will also receive an earphone device -- the Duluxe Audio strap -- designed exclusively for the gadget as well as a free copy of Google-developed content Tilt Brush, a redemption code for gaming Fallout 4 VR and a pre-order code for gaming DOOM VFR.

In addition, Viveport will also offer discounts to consumers for Black Friday. Viveport is a Vive app store that provides users with a wide range of content for the VR headset.

According to Viveport, consumers will be offered a monthly subscription fee of 6.99 pounds to select five apps a month.

For bigger savings as part of a pre-purchase plan, consumers will also be able to choose from a 12.99 pound three- month subscription fee to select 15 apps at a 35 percent discount, a six-month subscription fee of 19.99 pounds to select 30 apps at 50 percent discount and a 12-month subscription fee of 29.99 pounds to select 60 apps at 63 percent discount, according to Viveport.

During the Black Friday shopping period, HTC said, Vive Studios, another Vive content developer, will offer discounts of up to 75 percent.

The Vive is one of HTC's gambits to diversify from its core smartphone market, which is saturated and intensely competitive, in the hope of creating an additional revenue source and turning around its business. HTC faces competition from Apple, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and many Chinese smartphone brands.

HTC unveiled the HTC Vive at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in March 2015, and global sales began in April 2016. However, despite the presence of the Vive, HTC still continues to report losses as market analysts note that revenue generated from the VR business is just a small fraction of the company, while competition in the global smartphone market continues to hurt the vendor's bottom line.

In the third quarter of this year, HTC reported a net loss for the 10th consecutive quarter. That loss hit NT$3.1 billion (US$103 million) for the July-September period, topping the NT$1.95 billion recorded in the second quarter.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)
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