Glimmers of hope for HTC
HTC's biggest hope may dwell in markets not directly related to smartphones, like its Vive VR and recently announced partnerships with Under Armour and IBM Watson.
HTC in January announced UA Healthbox with Under Armour, a $400 product with a wristband, scale and heart rate monitor for fitness tracking. (Even though the word "health" appears in the name, it is not sold as a federally regulated healthcare product, and is instead intended as a fitness product.)
IBM Watson will add artificial intelligence to Healthbox features through the UA Record App, which acts as a fitness trainer, coach and consultant. The app will rely on a database kept by Watson of 160 million Under Armour app users, medical research and more.
"Vive VR is relevant to HTC's future because VR is the next step towards how people interface with the world," said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen. "IBM Watson makes the fitness app even cooler, and that's an example of where the handset companies need to go with services, where a fitness apps links you to other parts of your life."
Nguyen said Vive and Healthbox will matter more to HTC's future than the HTC 10. "Regardless of the HTC 10 device or its hardware features or the brand and vendor behind it, it will be hard to sell."
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