Engadget - HTC's closure of its South Korean office may seem yet another blow to the company this year, but don't be alarmed: we saw it coming. It's a given that Peter Chou's gang is cutting back in response to its recent weak performance, but the more interesting takeaway here is the fact that the South Korean smartphone market is one tough nut for foreign brands to crack open. Just walk into any carrier shop in Seoul and you'll see the shelves dominated by devices from Samsung, LG and Pantech. If you're lucky, you may spot the odd Sony, Motorola and HTC phones cowering in a corner. So why is that the case? Let's take a look at the how it all started.