Virtual reality is certainly the buzz word amongst the tech community at the moment with the sector relatively in its infancy, the early hardware has been revealed and content beginning to emerge. The real use for VR hasn’t really yet been expanded beyond gaming and the occasional social movie event, but that hasn’t stopped HTC boss from going on record to predict that VR sales will outpace smartphone sales within 4 years.
That’s quite a statement from a company who have just released the new HTC 10 and a smartphone business that make up a good share of the company revenue. But Wang Tsung-ching, head of Vive at HTC China, said that smartphone sales have peaked, a mere 9 years after the market was redefined by the release of the iPhone. Wang underpinned his statement by highlighting that smartphone sales are already declining and compared the current mobile industry to the PC market, which took 30 years to hit the same point that mobile has hit in 9.
But what will take the place that declining mobile sales will leave in the market? Wang believes it will VR headsets that will become the biggest computing platform in terms of sales by 2020, which a recent report predicted shipment figures of 64.8 million in that year.
HTC are already invested in the VR space with their HTC Vive headset, which was developed in partnership with Valve, and has already seen massive initial sales resulting in a large backlog. HTC was rumored earlier this year to be considering branching its VR business into an independent company but said it would continue to develop VR to maximize shareholder value. So while the virtual reality industry is taking off, HTC at least as a company seem to be invested in both the smartphone and VR sectors for the near future, but the pace in which the two sectors come together and eventually switch places will certainly become clear in time.