Taipei, June 5 (CNA) Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. vowed Tuesday to invest more in new technologies as part of its efforts to seek opportunities for long-term growth.
In an annual report published Tuesday, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) said her company is looking to invest in technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, Internet of the Things and 5G.
The company is also eying Blockchain, which is a platform for digital transaction records, she said.
With the introduction of new innovations, smartphones would have to take new forms in preparation for the 5G era, Wang said.
In January, HTC completed a deal to sell some of its smartphone assets to Google, which is expected help HTC’s long-term development by streamlining its operations for greater efficiency, she said.
The proceeds from the disposal of the assets to Google will give HTC greater financial flexibility and provide funds for investment in new technologies, Wang said.
Under the deal, HTC sold its smartphone ODM assets to Google for US$1.1 billion and released 2,000 engineers to join Google. The U.S. tech giant was also granted non-exclusive rights to use HTC patents.
When the proceeds from the deal were booked in the first quarter, HTC posted a net profit of NT$21.1 billion (US$798 million) with earnings per share of NT$25.70.
The company had been recording losses for 11 straight quarters before that, with its fourth-quarter report for 2017 showing a net loss of NT$9.8 billion.
According to Wang, the deal with Google has helped lower HTC’s operating costs and with its existing workforce in innovations, the company now has a good foundation for growth.
In addition, with the disposal of its smartphone ODM assets, HTC can now focus on developing models under its own brand, she said.
Following the global market launch of its first virtual reality headset the HTC Vive in 2016, the company has been offering discounts on the device, which have boosted sales over the past year, Wang said.
In the second quarter of this year, HTC started shipments of its Vive Pro, an upgraded version of the Vive, as it stepped up its efforts to increase content for the headset.
With HTC’s continued investments in innovation, the company is hoping to realize its vision for a “Vive Reality,” according to Wang.
(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)