|Bid||35.80 x 0|
|Ask||35.85 x 0|
|Day's Range||35.20 - 35.95|
|52 Week Range||32.35 - 46.75|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.16|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Feb 28, 2020 - Mar 3, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.38 (1.07%)|
|1y Target Est||56.50|
(Bloomberg) -- Kizuna Ai, the most popular streamer in Japan, is an anatomically exaggerated, perpetually adolescent girl in frilly thigh-high socks and a pink hair ribbon. She’s also an entirely virtual character, given life by the actions and voice of an invisible actress.In the home of anime and “Ghost in the Shell” futurism, millions now follow Kizuna Ai online, and that success has spawned thousands of copycat acts and a cottage industry catering to so-called virtual YouTubers, or VTubers. Defying the Western streamer blueprint of young male gamers like PewDiePie and Ninja, Japan has invented a new class of streaming star that’s equal parts digital avatar and interactive anime.“What separates VTubers from regular anime characters is that you can believe they actually exist,” said Takeshi Osaka, founder of Activ8 Inc., the Tokyo-based company behind Kizuna Ai. “That presence is an important part of what makes them so appealing.”Sidestepping the labor-intensive and time-consuming process of traditional animation -- ill-suited to the fast-paced world of YouTube content -- Activ8 uses Hollywood-grade motion capture equipment to crank out music videos, skits and game streams just about every day for more than 4 million subscribers.The technology allows Kizuna to interact with fans in real time at exhibitions, give interviews on live TV and perform in concerts. It’s a virtual influencer that can patronize real-world events.While Activ8 doesn’t disclose technical details, its product is an almost seamless combination of lifelike movements, gestures and facial expressions, all of which contribute to the suspension of disbelief.“The innovation here is in how they combine real-time 3D computer graphics, motion capture and video streaming sites like YouTube to create two-way interactions with audiences,” said Eiji Araki, a senior vice president at Gree Inc. who heads a division specializing in VTubers.Kizuna Ai debuted on YouTube in December 2016 and was responsible for coining the term “VTuber.” The technology that opened the door for its many imitators arrived that same year, in the form of the first commercial virtual reality goggles. Designed to do precise head and hand tracking, the VR kits from Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and HTC Corp.’s Vive turned out to be perfect animation rigs for VTuber aspirants on a budget. With free-to-use animation engines and 3-D models from the likes of Unity Technologies, anyone could create a virtual puppet studio for cheap in their living room.Virtual Beings Get Real With First Emmy From HollywoodIt’s no accident that VTubers found fertile ground in Japan. The country has a long history of user-generated content centered on anime, and performances by virtual idols like Hatsune Miku have drawn real-world crowds for more than a decade. While international audiences may prefer more photorealistic characters -- which are more difficult to create and animate -- their Japanese counterparts raised on comic book heroes have no problem with cartoonish looks.The VTuber phenomenon has so far been almost exclusively Japanese, however its underlying technology and formula of combining popular culture with increased interactivity -- and thus believability -- are universal. And Activ8 already has ambitions to expand its VTuber portfolio beyond Japan.While Japan’s global tech leadership may have faded since the days of the Walkman, its trendsetting habits remain strong in the gaming realm. Three out of four gaming consoles sold in the world today are made by Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp., while free-to-play mobile games are taking over the globe with monetization techniques pioneered by Japanese companies. And then there are globally beloved game series like Super Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter and Pokémon. Anime, another major Japanese cultural export, is a $20 billion industry whose products range from Oscar-winning high-brow works by Hayao Miyazaki to action-packed light entertainment like “Battle Angel Alita,” which recently got a Hollywood remake. VTubers are a cross between these two Japanese pastimes.Market researcher User Local Inc. estimates there are now over 9,000 VTuber channels. The most popular ones are produced by a handful of professional studios like Activ8, each managing dozens of characters. In the space of less than three years, virtual streamers have morphed from an obscure subculture to a big business. Kizuna Ai can now be found in ads for instant cup noodles and eye drops, appearing at local carrier SoftBank Corp.’s launch event and helping the Japan National Tourism Organization’s promo campaigns.“There is no doubt that this will change the future of entertainment,” said Hironao Kunimitsu, the founder of Gumi Inc., an early investor in Activ8 and about 70 other VR startups. He cautions, however, that “for this type of content to resonate outside of Japan, it will have to be adapted to local tastes and sensibilities.”For now, Japanese VTubers are taking the path of least resistance and exporting their characters to China’s large and underserved anime market. Activ8 earlier this year introduced a Chinese version of Kizuna Ai, changing its dress and voice, and now it has close to 820,000 followers on the country’s Bilibili video-sharing service.Ultimate success for Activ8’s chief means making it into Hollywood, which is already a well-trodden path for Japanese gaming franchises like Resident Evil, Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog. Given the world’s appetite for Japanese culture, VTubers might not even have to dilute their product very much.“I started this virtual entertainer business because I believe it can be done worldwide,” Osaka said. “Our goal is to become the next-generation Disney.”To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.com;Yuki Furukawa in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad Savov, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
HTC Corp has hired Yves Maitre as its new CEO, the smartphone maker said on Tuesday as it announced the replacement of Cher Wang by the former Orange executive. Maitre will be tasked with reviving HTC, which has struggled as rivals such as Samsung and Huawei have come to dominate the Android smartphone sector. While smartphones remain "part of the DNA" of HTC, Maitre told Reuters, he hopes to expand into education or business-to-business verticals as 5G connectivity expands.
TAIPEI, Sept. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC Corporation, a leading innovator in mobile and immersive computing, today announced the appointment of Yves Maitre as CEO of HTC, effective immediately. Yves joins HTC from Orange, one of the world's largest telecommunications firms, where he served as EVP of Consumer Equipment and Partnerships, overseeing Orange's connected technology strategy and business. Yves's background includes deployment of the world's largest consumer electronic brands as well as ownership of an entire portfolio of connected and mobile services, and he also served as a member of Orange's innovation technology group, charged with developing disruptive revenue opportunities.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Back in the day, PCs were hip and investors chased computer stocks to sky-high valuations. Everyone was buying a desktop, and then a laptop, and the companies that supplied them could do no wrong.Then came the smartphone. We all know to blame Apple Inc. for the end of the PC era. Though Steve Jobs didn’t invent the “phone + internet” mash-up, the iPhone spurred competitors to make such devices useful and customers took to them with glee. A decade-long smartphone boom followed.Take a look at the recent share price performance of handset makers and there’s not much left to be gleeful about. As handsets got boring, so too did the shares of the companies that relied on them for revenue. HTC Corp. and Xiaomi Corp., two of the few firms left that focus on handsets, have seen their shares plummet in the past year. PC makers, on the other hand, have been a little more exciting.Yet if you divide the universe of smartphone and PC makers in two, you’ll discover something interesting: Those that primarily focus on corporate customers or lead the market in a key non-consumer business are outperforming those that get a larger slice of revenue from smartphones and consumer PCs. Since Dec. 21, when Dell Technologies Inc. started trading again after a take-private deal in 2013, its shares jumped 21%. International Business Machines Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. have all climbed since that date. (2) By contrast, LG Electronics Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., HTC, HP Inc., Acer Inc. and Xiaomi all dropped. The first major outlier is Apple. I suspect that’s because fund managers sitting on piles of cash realized that it probably makes sense to put money into companies with fat margins and a cult following, even if it’s lost a little luster. ZTE Corp. also did well, but that’s mostly because it’s recovering from being at the wrong end of U.S. national-security policy.Instead of looking at PCs versus smartphones, a paradigm that worked well for around a decade, the better way for investors to divide the technology-hardware sector is consumer and enterprise. The two HPs – Enterprise and Inc. – serve as the perfect example. HP Inc. gets 60% of its revenue from desktop and notebook PCs, while HP Enterprise sells servers, storage and networking services. HP Enterprise is up 10% while HP Inc. fell 7% over the period. IBM is up 22%, Acer is down 13% and Xiaomi has fallen 36%. The lines do get a little blurred. Lenovo, for example, is also in the server and smartphone businesses, and Dell gets around 11% of its revenue from consumer PCs. Having divided their investible universe along these new fault lines, however, punters would be foolish to believe that the bull-run in enterprise will continue unabated. Both HPE and Dell last week raised their full-year earnings forecast, spurring shares to rise. In reality, that bottom-line strength appears to come from better margins and cost control rather than a rosier outlook for revenue. “We’ve tried to position the company to be successful in any economic environment,” Dell CFO Tom Sweet told Bloomberg News. That kind of attitude deserves the 10% single-day spurt the stock received. But cost control can only go so far. If a global economic slowdown and the trade war don’t abate, then not even fiscal pragmatism can save earnings.Sell-side analysts are adjusting accordingly. They’ve trimmed most companies’ 2019 revenue forecasts over the past six months, as well as next year’s EPS estimates.By examining more closely the end-market and customer base for each company, investors will find it easier to sort likely winners from losers. In the face of even bigger problems for the economy, however, a new analytic framework won’t change the fact that tough times are still ahead.(1) That's when Dell shares started trading. The rise/fall divide since that date is somewhat coincidental, but the wider point still stands: Enterprise has largely outperformed consumer.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Over the last few years, you would be forgiven for thinking that virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality, are areas of tech that reside firmly in the domain of the gamers and entertainment industries. There is good reason for this, virtual reality has always been the poster child for immersive entertainment, while augmented and […]
Led by peripheral phone maker HTC, this new wave of phones look much the same as those that have come before it – at least on the outside. Inside, however, they contain the software needed to transform the entire internet as we know it, and in doing so take the power back from the technology giants that dominate it. The idea is to give people back control of their data and end the exploitation and monetisation of people's private lives by the likes of Facebook and Google.
BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, HTC® unveiled the new HTC 5G Hub, a first-of-its-kind dedicated 5G mobile smart hub that commands the rapid speeds of the future. Carriers across the globe will offer the HTC 5G Hub--including Sprint, Telstra, and recently added European carriers: EE (UK), Three UK, Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Sunrise (Switzerland), and Elisa (Finland). The HTC 5G Hub allows customers to use 5G on multiple devices while on the go, at work, or at home for fast connectivity, content sharing, entertainment and more. A 5-inch HD touchscreen allows for ease of use and high-quality visuals, and long-lasting power makes for a travel companion that harnesses 5G speeds dramatically faster than 4G LTE networks.
Feb 14 (Reuters) - HTC Corp: * SAYS JAN SALES DOWN 70.5 PERCENT Y/Y Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/29I3zX1 Further company coverage: (Reporting by Hong Kong newsroom)
Jan 4 (Reuters) - HTC Corp: * SAYS DEC SALES DOWN 66.4 PERCENT Y/Y AT T$1.35 BILLION ($43.75 million) Source text in Chinese: https://bit.ly/2R7SrLe Further company coverage: ($1 = 30.8580 Taiwan dollars) ...
BEIJING, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- HTC presented at the China Mobile (CMCC) Global Partner Conference 2018 as a key contributor to the company's "5G Devices Forerunner Initiative" to further enable the 5G future with a global vision. A key announcement was the launch of the 5G Smart Hub—named No.1 Forerunner at the conference—which indicates that CMCC will commence the gigabit Ethernet service and the extraordinary network experience for the future. The collaboration between HTC and CMCC will see both companies work together to explore the potentials of 5G applications, especially in VR devices and solutions.
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past two weeks, carriers across the globe announced they have signed up with HTC® to deliver upcoming 5G products. Sprint and Telstra will both carry a 5G "mobile smart hub" built by HTC—the first device of its kind to work across 5G networks. This unique device will serve as a dedicated 5G mobile hotspot, smart device, and much more, and will debut in 2019.
Oct.04 -- Yves Maitre, HTC Corp. chief executive officer, discusses the effects of geopolitical tensions, the race to 5G technology and the company's competition with Oculus. He speaks with Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu and Caroline Hyde on "Bloomberg Markets: The Close."