With this move, HTC is clearly indicating its intention to be more than just a VR headset manufacturer.
At the Alibaba Cloud's annual Computing Conference, HTC has announced its Viveport M Virtual Reality store for Android devices. Earlier this year, The Taiwanese giant released the VR App store for desktop ecosystem.
To brief out, the Viveport VR app store is where users will be able to download VR-centric apps and can even explore 360 degree content with our without any special VR headset. Basically, anyone with an Android device can get access to this store. As of now the Viveport M store has only been rolled out in beta version for developers to test but HTC has apparently hinted a possible commercial launch by the end of this year with China being one of the first countries where the app store will be released.
"By expanding Viveport into mobile and offline channels, we are exponentially expanding the user base and revenue opportunities for VR developers around the world. This will give them the funds they need to not only survive but prosper, encouraging the creation of more exciting content," Alvin Graylin, China regional president of Vive, HTC, said in a statement.
With this move, HTC is clearly indicating its intention to be more thn just a VR headset manufacturer. While players like Valve and Steam were HTC's main competitors in the Desktop version, Google's Day Dream platform is the latest competition as far as Android platform is concerned.
Through its forum, HTC also announced the availability of upcoming Viveport Arcade which is dubbed as a VR content management and sales platform customised for experience centers offline.
While announcing the company mentioned in a statement: "Viveport Arcade will make it much easier for VR arcade operators to legally acquire the most compelling VR content available, while the system itself will allow both operators and developers to accurately share the revenue from end users. Pilot programs for Viveport Arcade have already been deployed in a number of locations in the last 1-2 months and will soon expand to hundreds of gaming centres, amusement parks and karaoke bars across China and globally."
The company has confirmed on Twitter that "Android 7.0 Nougat update coming soon" on the above-mentioned devices.
As compared to the previous year, this will be half the number of smartphones released by the company.
The smartphones come in four colour options including Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, Ice White and Sapphire Blue.
Interestingly, as per the leaked images, the device boasts a secondary display just above the primary display.
The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.
The smartphone will be the successor to the One X9, which was introduced last year.
The smartphone is expected to beat Google Pixel in DxOMark rating and skip 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The company is planning to launch a flagship device along with two devices in mid-range segment during Q1 of 2017.
The company has sent out invites for its 'next big announcement' to be held just after the CES 2017.
The device is expected to cost around CNY 2,000 (approx Rs 19,557) and no information has been up regarding the global launch.