HTC has announced a launch date for its so-called ‘metaverse phone’ that will mark the company’s return to the smartphone market. HTC is a leading Taiwanese consumer electronics company that was once one of the biggest Android smartphone makers. The company has often been credited with starting the smartphone revolution thanks to iconic devices like the HTC Touch and HTC Dream (also known as HTC G1). While the former ran Windows Mobile and was released in 2007, the latter was the company’s first Android smartphone and launched in 2008. HTC also made Google’s original Nexus device – the Nexus One – in 2009. The company’s last smartphone was launched in 2020.
For all its history, the current HTC is a shadow of its former self. Over the past decade, the company slowly has lost its smartphone market share, amidst strong competition from Samsung, Apple, and a host of Chinese vendors that started offering similar devices at much more affordable prices. In late 2017, the company sold much of its smartphone-related intellectual property to Google. The company has since concentrated on the VR and IoT sectors, and has released a number of Vive-branded VR headsets. In 2018 and 2019, it released the Exodus 1 and Exodus 1s ‘cryptophones’ focused on running decentralized blockchain apps.
According to a tweet from HTC’s official Twitter account, the company will host its ‘Log In To The Future’ event on June 28 to unveil its first metaverse smartphone under the Viverse brand. The company didn’t reveal anything about the device, nor did it officially confirm if the event will even see a smartphone launch. However, the accompanying image in the tweet clearly shows the silhouette of a smartphone with what seems to be a volume rocker on one side and an indentation on the other, possibly to house a physical fingerprint scanner. Rumors and speculations also suggest that it will come with various augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features although the exact details, both in terms of hardware specifications and software features, remain a mystery.
HTC’s Viverse Phone Could Come With AR/VR Features
HTC originally announced its metaverse smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 earlier this year in Barcelona. The device was expected to be unveiled in April, but was delayed due to the ongoing supply constraints amidst the Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine. There’s not a lot of information about the upcoming device, but given its Viverse branding, it will likely come with a number of built-in AR and VR features, including HTC’s Vive VR and AR apps.
HTC’s upcoming phone will be a niche device and the company probably knows it all too well. It will not compete with the Galaxy devices and the OnePlus phones in terms of sales numbers, but HTC isn’t looking for that anyway. If anything, it is HTC’s way of furthering its AR/VR ambitions and trying to create a market segment that currently doesn’t exist. Either way, it will be interesting to see what HTC has in store for consumers at its June 28 event.