Smartphone manufacturer HTC is shutting its research and development office in Durham.
Some 50 people will lose their jobs, according to a company spokesperson.
The office is expected to close over the next several weeks.
“HTC employees in its N.C. office were informed Wednesday that the offices in RTP will be closing,” the spokesperson said.
“HTC conducts ongoing reviews of all aspects of its business, and as part of these reviews believes this is an important step to help HTC maintain its competitive edge and ability to deliver quality innovations for consumers.”
The office opening generated a great deal of publicity in March 2011 at the time as the Research Triangle Park area seemed to be emerging as a smartphone hub.
Garmin and Canada-based Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) also opened offices in the area following the shutdown of Sony Ericsson’s North American operation in RTP and its move to Atlanta.
HTC and others said they wanted to capitalize on the availability of smartphone engineering talent in the area.
RIM, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, is suffering its own woes and is in the processing of laying off some 2,000 workers across the company.
HTC has waged a so-far largely futile battle against Apple’s iPhones over patents.
Recent revenues also have dived at the company. It is based in Taiwan and employs some 16,000 people worldwide.
HTC originally planned to employ some 45 people at the office. It received $150,000 in incentives from Durham to locate the operation in the city. at the American Tobacco Historic District, which is owned by WRAL Tech Wire and WRAL.com parent Capitol Broadcasting/
HTC occupied formerly occupied by GlaxoSmithKline.
“HTC has been successful bringing its unique brand of people-centric innovation to consumers, and with the establishment of this new R&D office, we are taking an important step to extend our leadership position in the wireless industry,” Ron Louks, HTC chief strategy officer, said in a statement at the time of the office announcement in December 2010. “Durham is a perfect place to open our new R&D office because we are able to tap into this deep pool of technical talent that complements HTC’s leading-edge R&D efforts going on around the world.”
HTC operates its North American headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.-based company also has research offices in Seattle and San Francisco.