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HTC's mobile VR headset won't be a copycat

It's promising much more than a glorified slot for your phone.

HTC is quickly establishing itself as a virtual reality-focused company, and that's evident with its plans to enter the mobile VR arena. In an interview with CNET, company sales President Chia-lin Chang has revealed that it's launching a mobile VR headset in 2017 (teased last year) that is "not a phone slapped onto a headset." It's not just another spin on the familiar Gear VR or Daydream View formulas, to put it another way. The exec drew parallels to the Vive, which targets the high end of the PC-based VR space.

Given the Vive's relative success (it managed to upstage the Oculus Rift to a degree), it's not surprising that HTC would bet on conquering mobile VR as well. The question is whether or not this bet on VR will work. Although the Vive has helped stem the bleeding, HTC is still losing money -- a second headset isn't guaranteed to bring the company back to profitability. It's still too soon to tell how large the VR market will get, and HTC may end up becoming the champion of a category that never truly reaches the mainstream.

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