HTC Tease of Vive Branded Smartphone May Not Be What it Seems

The upcoming 'For U' event might reveal more details.

Last weeks CES 2017 event featured several announcements from HTC in relation to its Vive headset, content platform Viveport and accessory manufacturers. But over the weekend a video surfaced online that featured a HTC Vive branded smartphone, seemingly indicating the possibility of the company’s first foray into mobile virtual reality (VR). But further reports suggest this might not be the tease everyone thought it was.

Ever since HTC entered the VR market, collaborating with Valve on the Vive, its long been assumed the smartphone maker would enter into mobile VR at some point, challenging the dominance of Samsung with its Gear VR, and most recently the arrival of Google Daydream.

HTC Vive Phone image

The video, called HTC CMF Kitchen commercial, appeared on Evan Blass’ Twitter account, showcasing the HTC Vive branded smartphone right at the end. The content aims to show how HTC plans to mix up their product designs using a variety of colours and materials. But in a report by Android Authority that video was originally the work of videographer Shaun Saperstein, who was – up until June 2016 – employed as a visual/motion designer for the company. Saperstein had originally posted the video on Vimeo the website alleges back in June 2016 – meaning its not very new at six months old – although that has now been taken down.

Whether the video turns out to be official remains to be seen, so realistically at the moment guesses could range from a HTC mobile head-mounted display (HMD) to a new smartphone that supports Daydream View.

What’s more interesting is the timing. Toward the end of December VRFocus reported on HTC teasing an announcement called ‘For U’. No details were given other than a date, this Thursday 12th January, 2017. If the two have something to do with each other then there’s only a few days to wait to find out.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of HTC, reporting back with the latest VR related news.

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