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Why an HTC Vive Spin-Off Could be a Good Thing

HTC Vive Showcase at CES 2016

For a couple days, the word on the street is that HTC is contemplating the sale of their company, or...the more likely scenario...the sale of the HTC Vive business.  While we've read this rumour before, this author believes that spinning off the HTC Vive business has inherent advantages:

First, the sales expectations are in scale.  It was pure fantasy when HTC thought that the Vive and alternative to smartphone sales would account for 10% of their revenues within a year.  If it did, that would have indicated more of a problem than a benefit.  In contrast, a spun-off company living in its own ecosystem has only its straight profits and market sizes to measure against.  Yes, it can build towards mass market with time; the pressures to unrealistically do so in a spun off company are no longer the same.

Next, the Vive and the Vive's VR business and HTC may get more revenue generating clients this way.  Think about it.  If Vive is tied to the hip with HTC, their mobile solutions can only be sold to HTC.  If it's a spun-off company, they suddenly have the freedom to work with multiple smartphone makers for mobile VR and not face any conflicts of interest.  While this may or may not impact their PC VR business, it does open the door for a Vive spin-off to contract HTC to manufacture their devices.  This means VR drives revenue to HTC without the same risks.

Finally, spinning it off does make for a better defined commodity.  They've got HTC Vive devices, upcoming mobile VR devices, virtual reality arcades and supply services, an on-line content portal, ongoing content development relationships...it all makes for a pretty good sounding story.  The story may not sound the same or as poignant when intermingled with the HTC brand and its completely different set of products and markets and messaging.

Let's see how things turn out.  Your thoughts?