In the past, we have seen quite a few reports suggesting that HTC’s Vive headset was lagging substantially behind the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR in terms of raw sales. While it’s still likely that PSVR is leading the charge in the virtual reality headset game, HTC has confirmed that they’ve sold “much more” than previously reported metrics of 140,000 units.
In an interview with an analyst from Arete Research regarding the subject, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang stated that she did not know where analysts were getting their numbers from. Wang stated that the number of units sold were “much more” than 140,000, and encouraged analysts to not refer to that level of volume that has been spread around the industry. She went on to state that not disclosing the exact sales metrics was in the interest of HTC shareholders, which is why they would never share the exact amount.
The number was taken from installs of Google’s Tilt Brush application, which comes bundled with every Vive headset. Users do have to actually install the application for the numbers to tally though, so it is possible that people just never started using the art app. In addition, HTC started selling a “Vive Business Edition” quite a few months ago, which likely would not include Google’s VR painting app, or at least would likely not see installs. There are no official numbers regarding these business edition units, so assuming they were at least moderately successful, HTC could be matching or exceeding Oculus in terms of raw sales numbers.
Wang also stated that the company was very happy with the selling condition of the Vive in the last earnings call, and that they are looking forward to a very profitable holiday season. The Vive is being discounted pretty significantly for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and should help to bump their profits for the next financial quarter as well. With the Christmas holiday season in full swing starting today, the company is looking forward to a very exciting quarter.
Based on statements from Oculus stating that the Rift is sold at cost, you would think that HTC’s Vive would be doing at least the same, considering it comes with both the Vive hand controllers and the lighthouses, which the Rift omits. However, HTC’s Chia-Lin Chang stated that the company does sell each unit at a profit. This could be due to a number of factors, ranging from more efficient supply chains to better component sourcing. It could also be the case that Oculus was being a bit optimistic about these costs, as recent tear-downs suggest that the full solution uses only $200 worth of components. Whatever the case, it’s good news for HTC if they can advance virtual reality as a space and make a profit at the same time.
With rumors of a Vive version 2 running rampant among the internet, a few positive quarters should be great for the company. Discounting the current model through Black Friday weekend should help to empty out stock, assuming the company is really announcing a new model at CES in January. These are just rumors however, so we’ll have to see exactly what happens in the coming months.
Until then, make sure you stay tuned to VR Source for all the latest news on HTC’s premier virtual reality headset.