HTC Teases Return To Phones With Metaverse Hype


By Phillip Tracy

HTC once owned a sizable portion of the global smartphone market share, but it could never keep up with Samsung, and in 2017, the company sold most of its phone IP to Google. After staying in the shadows for several years, HTC is now planning its return to smartphones, though fans of its previous HTC One devices should keep their excitement in check.

The company posted on Twitter a teaser for its upcoming smartphone, which is set to debut at a launch event on June 28. We don’t know specifics except that, as HTC teased at MWC, it will have some metaverse elements.

Yes, this smartphone will have a strong tie to the metaverse, that theoretical blending of the digital and physical worlds you keep hearing about. Remember, HTC pivoted to VR when it stepped back from making smartphones, and its flagship product is called the Vive. It’s unclear if this phone will be called the “Viverse” which is what HTC has unfortunately named its virtual reality world.

Whatever the case, we don’t know much about the smartphone, though some integration with HTC’s Vive headset seems likely. I’d also expect it to give users some access to “Viverse,” a metaverse platform where you can hold meetings, watch VR concerts, play games, sell or buy NFTs, and more.

And since I haven’t thrown out enough buzzwords yet, the phone could also have some blockchain features. HTC’s Exodus 1 (and 1S) phone was built around cryptocurrency, providing a “Secure Enclave” that protects your crypto keys and has a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.

The metaverse phone was originally scheduled to debut in April but was delayed due to COVID-19 outbreaks in Taiwan. We’ll learn more about this mysterious device at HTC’s “Log In To The Future” event on June 28.

When it arrives, the Viverse handset won’t be looking to take on the Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel. Despite the wishes of some HTC One owners, the company doesn’t seem interested in returning to the traditional smartphone market. Those days appear to be over. Instead, HTC will attempt to resolve its financial woes with one-of-a-kind devices it hopes the market finds more innovative than gimmicky.


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