Smartphone manufacturer HTC just announced that it closed its South Korea office due to low device sales in the country. The Taiwan-based company, which produces many Android handsets, suffered financial declines in recent quarters due to stiff competition in the market.

According to Korean news site Yonhap:

  • “Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp. is set to pull out of South Korea following fruitless attempts to stay afloat in the local market dominated by the world’s top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co., market watchers said Monday.
  • On Friday, HTC officially announced its plan to close its Seoul office, a move that comes just a few months after its local unit head ended a brief six-month stint due largely to sluggish sales.”

TechWorld elaborated:

  • “HTC did not specifically mention layoffs, and said it was encouraging affected employees to apply for open positions within the company. ‘This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years,’ it said in a statement.”
  • South Korea has been a challenging market for foreign vendors including HTC to break into, said Nicole Peng, an analyst with research firm Canalys.
  • HTC had a 2 percent share of the smartphone market in the country for the year 2011, and a 1 percent share in this year’s first quarter, she said in an email. Korean vendors, including Samsung, LG and Pantech, dominate with about a 90 percent of the market.

Get the full report at TechWorld.

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