HTC is hosting an event on June 28 where it is expected to launch its ‘metaverse’ smartphone under the Viverse brand. There is speculation that the phone is aimed at delivering augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. Earlier this year, the Taiwanese company introduced the interoperable ecosystem Viverse to set the stage for a comeback in the smartphone market and to get some attention through its immersive, experiential developments. In particular, HTC has Vive as its dedicated division to offer VR solutions. That division manages the Viverse brand.
The official HTC account on Twitter has issued a teaser image alongside the June 28 launch schedule announcement. The image denotes the launch of the smartphone and includes the Viverse branding. The tweet also has a tagline that reads, “Sign in to the future.”
At this year’s MWC, an HTC executive reportedly announced the launch of the company’s “metaverse” smartphone. It was set to debut in April, though the New Taipei-based company delayed the announcement. It is said to be delayed due to ongoing supply restrictions affecting other manufacturers as well.
The new HTC phone is said to have high-end specs and would come with 5G support. However, exact specification details are not yet known.
HTC also showcased its new VR experiences at MWC in March, announcing Viverse as the brand to enter the burgeoning ‘metaverse’ market and related areas. It also launched products including VR-based Vive Browser, Vive Connect for simulated experiences and Vivo Guardian VR tool to help parents, guardians and teachers protect minors entering the immersive world.
“Viverse delivers seamless experiences, accessible on any device, anywhere, and is powered by the virtual and augmented reality, high-speed connectivity, AI and blockchain technologies that HTC has been investing in for several years,” Cher Wang, co-founder and Chairwoman at HTC, had said when announcing the new brand.
HTC once became popular in the smartphone market. However, it lost ground due to the expansion of Chinese suppliers.
In 2017, HTC had sold much of its smartphone business to Google for $1.1 billion (approximately Rs. 8,600 crore). The transaction was completed in January 2018. The company also merged its remaining smartphone division with its VR team to streamline the business.
However, HTC confirmed in 2018 that it had no intention of exiting the smartphone market altogether. It also introduced the phone called HTC Exodus 1 to appeal to people who were in favor of blockchain technology at the time. The company expanded on that development by releasing the Exodus 1s in 2019, although both recent phones have failed to reach the masses.