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HTC reportedly working on sleeker Gen 2 Vive

2016/07/15 20:34:34

Taipei, July 15 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone brand HTC Corp.(宏達電) is updating its virtual reality headset, the HTC Vive, to a second generation version that is likely be released either late this year or early 2017, the Beijing-based news site Sina said Friday.

Citing HTC suppliers, Sina said HTC is working to produce the HTC Vive 2.0, which will be a slimmer than the current version and have upgraded specifications.

Shipments of the Gen 2 HTC Vive headset are expected to begin at the end of this year or early 2007, the suppliers were cited as saying in the report.

HTC's first virtual reality headset, the Vive, was launched on the global market in April as part of the company's efforts to diversify away from its core smartphone market, which has become saturated and intensely competitive.

The first generation HTC Vive, jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show in March 2015. The headset is equipped with tracked controllers that allow wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings

In addition to its online sales, the HTC Vive has now entered physical distribution channels in the United States, China, Japan, Taiwan and Europe in a bid by the company to give the gadget greater global visibility.

HTC, which is hoping the Vive will boost its revenue source and help turn around its business, has been tight-lipped about sales of the device since its release.

However, a content platform under Valve called Steam has released data that shows sales of 100,000 HTC Vive units, at cost of US$799 each, as of the end of June. The sales figure is twice a market estimate that was made in May, indicating a warm consumer response to the device.

In Taiwan, the HTC Vive was released in physical retail stores on July 12 and became available Friday for testing by consumers at 51 outlets owned by the country's five major telecom operators, according to HTC.

The five telecom operators have a total of 2,500 outlets islandwide to sell the HTC Vive.

Meanwhile, HTC also announced Friday that it had appointed Greig Williams, formerly of Nokia and Microsoft, as vice president responsible for HTC Vive sales in the European market, replacing Peter Frolund.

(By Esme Jiang and Frances Huang)