LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI: Taiwanese device maker HTC launched a consortium that pulls together 28 of the world’s largest VC firms, with a focus on virtual reality (VR), setting aside $10 billion of investible capital.
Alvin Graylin, president of HTC China, said the VR VC Alliance will “invest in the future of VR and set the direction of where VR is going. Think about what $10 billion can do for this industry.”
Graylin, speaking at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, said VR will be the next disruptor after the PC and mobile phone.
It took just five years for smartphones to surpass the total unit sales of PC, but now the smartphone industry is facing stagnating sales and falling margins.
“VR is going to take over, and I predict it will last longer than nine years. It’s going to replace every screen, and users will enjoy a different way to experience things like live events,” the exec said.
But he also noted that you need great content. HTC has released more than 300 titles for its Vive VR hardware, more than rivals Samsung and Oculus.
Two months ago, HTC launched its $100 million Vive X fund programme, designed to jump-start development. He said it has already received 1,200 applications from companies around the world, with half coming from China.
Asked about reports that it plans to spin off its VR group, he said the HTC board recently approved an independent company to run the Vive business, and it is open to outside investment at a time when it makes sense.