Over the weekend, a video that seemed to show a design for a HTC Vive smartphone was discovered by the public and swiftly taken down. Although it seems now that the video showed a concept and not a potential consumer product, that doesn’t take away from the interesting “what if?” scenario of HTC having a dedicated Vive phone.
The video in question was originally uploaded in July 2016, so it took many months for people to discover what it contained. The (now mirrored) video shows a rather innocuous case design branch of HTC, where its “CMF Kitchen” is using a number of different color and paint styles to create unique-looking phones.
However, toward the end of the commercial, where three phones are lined up to show different styles of HTC devices, there is unmistakably a HTC Vive smartphone. Or at least, a HTC Vive casing.
The case is silver, with blue tints to its edges, possibly antenna lines and an obvious HTC Vive logo in its center.
Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t seem likely to be anything more than a design concept and not one that HTC was actively supporting. It was originally hosted by Shaun Saperstine, a visual/motion designer who worked at HTC until June of last year. He didn’t release the video as revenge for being let go or anything, but appears to merely have used it as part of his portfolio (according to AndroidAuthority).
It seems most likely that it was merely a design idea thrown together at the end of the video, as if it was intended as any sort of reveal it would have made a much bigger splash during the video.
That said, if HTC did go down the mobile VR route, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Any such phone could be compatible with Google’s Daydream platform, or look to offer an alternative to the high-end Vive experience like the Gear VR headset. HTC already has the Viveport M mobile VR platform, too, so it wouldn’t be a total surprise if it came out with some sort of compatible handset in the future.
For now though, take it all with a pinch of salt, as this was likely just a video concept.