HTC, the Taiwanese handset maker, closed down their office in Seoul, South Korea and has completely left the South Korean market to further focus on the larger markets that they are successful in. With HTC also leaving the Brazilian market not too long ago, it’s clear that HTC realizes what their strengths and weaknesses are. According to an official statement by an HTC rep, the move was made in order to “streamline operations” thus improving efficiency throughout the whole company. Also in the statement, HTC admits that it wasn’t an easy decision to make: “This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years.”
In some ways, you have to commend a company when they admit defeat. It’s hard for a huge corporation like HTC to throw in the white flag, but focusing their attention to the markets in which they are successful in could help them out in the long run. Perhaps in the future, once they’ve re-established themselves, HTC may consider re-opening their doors to a possible return to the smaller markets.
South Korea have always been a difficult market for foreign companies to be successful in. HTC’s market share in South Korea was a measly 2% in 2011 and an even worse 1% thus far for 2012. In comparison, Korean born companies such as Samsung, LG and Pantech combined for a whopping 90%. Considering those astonishing discrepancies in market share, one cannot blame HTC for changing things up and re-evaluating their market strategies.
As a consumer, this shouldn’t worry you too much. HTC has a very strong user fan base and still widely successful in an overall generalized view. In my opinion, Samsung has enjoyed such a huge success because they have firmly established their Galaxy S line for years now. It’s a brand name that everyone knows and can easily follow throughout the years (i.e. Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, etc). As for HTC, it’s not as simple as that for consumers when their handsets have had inconsistent names such as the Thunderbolt, myTouch4G, Sensation 4G, Evo 3D… You get the idea. I believe branding is such an important part when it comes to marketing. It’s what captures the consumers eyes and allows them to essentially “piggy-back” on to the next iteration of the device. HTC is slowly heading into that direction with their HTC One lineup and hopefully in the coming years it turns into a brand that can directly compete with the Samsung’s Galaxy S’s market sales.
What do you guys think HTC should do to become a world wide behemoth such as Samsung? Sound off in the comments section!