With HTC announcing it plans to launch a new mobile VR device, Stephanie Llamas, VP of Research and Product Strategy at SuperData Research, gave us her insights and perspective into what it means for HTC and its competitors such as Samsung and Oculus.
HTC Vive has always been in tune with the future of the market. They quietly pulled ahead of Oculus despite all the hype around the Rift. They have been fostering an open ecosystem and pushing to forward the market at large, not just their own products. They know that their success lies not in self-promotion but in keeping ahead of what consumers will want and it's clear consumers want VR.
HTC also manufactured the Google Pixel, the first Google Daydream View-compatible device, so they've already recognized a niche in mobile they can fulfil. Consumer adoption of VR is going to be driven by mobile, and HTC is making sure they help can both forward and participate in that growth. They've found a way to get back their relevance in mobile with the Pixel and U Ultra (the first phone with which their phone will be compatible), and to ride the wave of mobile VR.
HTC sold 420,000 Vive headsets in 2016, beating competitors Oculus and Google Daydream, which sold 243,000 and 261,000 headsets respectively, but still lagged behind the Samsung Gear, at 4,513,000 devices and PS VR at 745,000.
We expect the Vive to sell significantly better in 2017, with projected sales at 1,340,000 devices. The introduction of a new mobile device will only increase HTC’s share of the VR market, leaving Samsung and Sony having to look for ways to innovate to stay ahead.