HTC has seen its fortunes fade over the past year, after a series of strategic and tactical blunders cost it market share and revenues. The Taiwanese fell behind Samsung in the Android pack, and very importantly, lost much of the crucial US smartphone market, although HTC did register some growth in the fast-developing Asia-Pacific markets. On the bright side, the One series somehow improved HTC’s performance in the past two quarters, in spite of the Customs ban in the US and weak sales in Europe.
To stem loses, the phone-maker has been laying off R&D staff and closing offices in underperforming markets. One such market from where HTC pulled off was Brazil, the biggest and most dynamic telecom market in South America.
According to the Korean news agency Yonhap, HTC will also give up on South Korea and close its offices there. This is equivalent to HTC throwing in the towel and admitting that it can’t compete with the local players and Apple. The South Korean market is largely dominated by Samsung, which is predicted to reach an incredible 70% market share in July. The other two local players, LG and Pantech, owe sizable chunks of the market, while Apple made some unimpressive inroads with the iPhone 4S.
HTC barely registers on the radar in South Korea, and Yonhap says that was the reason for the pull out. The decision comes months after the unit’s chief resigned after just six months of tenure, blaming weak performance.