Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. retained its status as the third best-selling smartphone brand in the United States in the second quarter of this year, but its market share shrank slightly, according to a newly released market research report.
The report by comScore MobiLens service said HTC held an 8.5 percent share of the U.S. smartphone market in Q2, putting it in a distant third place among the largest smartphone vendors in the U.S.
Its market share edged down 0.5 percentage point from the previous quarter amid fierce competition from other brands, the report showed.
Apple Inc. remained the top smartphone brand in the U.S., with a market share of 39.9 percent at the end of June, a 0.9 percentage point increase from its Q1 share, according to the comScore report.
Samsung Electronics Co. was in second place, with a market share of 23.7 percent at the end of Q2. The South Korean technology titan posted a 2 percentage point quarterly growth in its share of the U.S. smartphone market.
Meanwhile, local market analysts forecast that HTC will focus on the mid-range smarphone market in the third quarter of the year as the high-end segment is almost saturated.
The leading Taiwanese smartphone vendor was scheduled to launch a mid-range model -- the HTC One Mini -- in Taiwan Friday afternoon. The company said the model will also be marketed in other countries, starting next month.
Another mid-range HTC model, the Desire 500, will be launched in Europe later this month following its release in Taiwan in July.
Shares of HTC rose 6.33 percent to NT$159.50 (US$5.33) at one point Friday amid active buying by foreign financial institutions.
Although a number of foreign financial institutions have given downbeat forecasts of HTC's business outlook for the coming months, foreign institutional investors have been buying into the stock since the company launched a stock buyback program Aug. 5, according to data released by the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
(By Esme Jiang and Sofia Wu)