HTC has announced it is to close its office in South Korea, according to reports from Korean news agency Yonhap. The move reportedly follows slow sales of HTC's smartphones in the country, and continuing difficulty in competing with Samsung in its own back yard.
In a market dominated by domestic manufacturers, analysts at Canalys estimate HTC had just one percent market share in South Korea in the first quarter of the year, down from two percent in 2011. By comparison, a recent report from Korea's MK news site estimated up to a 70 percent share of the Korean market for Samsung by the end of July, following the recent Galaxy S3 launch in the country.
HTC has taken a beating in terms of profits and market share over the past six months, after it saw record earnings in 2011. The Taiwanese manufacturer saw a 57.8 percent year-on-year fall in net profits during the second quarter of 2012, a situation it blamed on lackluster European sales of the HTC One series, in addition to litigation from Apple which briefly delayed the phones' U.S. launch.