WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.
HTC`s one series.
HTC struggling to stay afloat in South Korea.
HTC Korea’s country manager Lee Chul-hwan was sacked, mostly due to the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s failure to make an impression on the local market according to local sources Tuesday.
HTC Korea confirmed Lee’s departure from the top post but declined to elaborate further. It has been rumored that the company will completely fold its business in South Korea, though officials currently insist that it will continue operating here.
The firm is struggling to find an alternative option as Korea, dominated by Samsung and LG Electronics, is a ``tomb’’ for foreign handset makers, said officials.
Lee, who headed HTC’s Korean office from October, left the post last month ― domestic operations are currently being supervised by the manufacturer’s headquarters in Taiwan.
“The manager left for personal reasons,” said a company spokeswoman. “The top post is currently vacant, but internal discussions are being held to find a replacement for Lee.”
She added it is undecided when the position of country manager will be filled again. She also strongly denied rumors of the Taiwanese manufacturer withdrawing from the Korean market.
Lee’s six month tenure was met with repeated failure to change the firm’s minimal local presence.
Foreign phone manufacturers including HTC are being hammered by Korean companies here.
Their combined market share, including that of HTC, only accounts for one percent of the domestic market, according to data provided by Samsung, a figure that HTC also confirmed.
Pantech, Samsung and LG Electronics together hold 99 percent. HTC sold a mere 30,000 handsets here in the first quarter.
Foreign companies have had difficulties challenging Samsung and LG as the two handset giants invest heavily on marketing and have an extremely strong brand image.
Domestic mobile carriers also strongly back Korean handsets, as they sell better than their foreign counterparts. Experts say the gap between foreign and domestic companies won’t narrow anytime soon.
HTC’s Sensation XL, released last year to rave reviews, failed to help the company gain any headway here.
The Taiwanese handset maker is struggling on the world stage as well. According to market research firm Gartner, HTC had a 1.8 percent global market share for the first quarter, a decline from an already low 2.4 percent for the previous quarter.
The global leader is Samsung Electronics, which had 20.7 percent to move past Nokia at 19.8 percent for the first time. Samsung sold 86 million handsets, while HTC sold 7 million in the same period. Samsung and Nokia are the only manufacturers with a double-digit market share.
The Taiwan-based firm announced that it plans to release a new model, as yet unnamed, in Korea within the year. It is currently discussing the matter with telecommunications companies and features of the new phone are also yet to be revealed.