HTC's 10 and Vive boost sales, but the future still looks grim

Another quarter, another $100 million-plus loss.

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Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Reuters/Tyrone Siu

HTC's Vive VR headset and HTC 10 smartphone sold briskly in Q2 2016, boosting revenue 27 percent over last quarter to 18.9 billion Taiwanese dollars ($598 million). The bad news is that compared to the same period last year, sales are down 42.7 percent -- not quite as bad as the 64 percent tumble last quarter, but still a precipitous drop. The company had an operating loss of 4.2 billion Taiwanese dollars ($133 million), making five straight quarters of futility.

HTC realized it had a hit on its hands with the Vive, and created a wholly-owned subsidiary called the HTC Vive Tech Corporation to manage it. It also created a $100 million fund to expand the ecosystem. Sales from the division still count toward overall company earnings, but HTC hasn't said how many of the $800 headsets it has moved so far. It did get a piece of good news when Oculus removed DRM constraints from games, meaning they'll work with the Vive and not just the Rift headset.

The well-received HTC 10 apparently sold well and the company is counting on that to continue. CFO Chialin Chang unofficially predicted a return to profitability by next quarter, but the company will need a Hail Mary to meet that goal.

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