Founded in 1997, HTC Corp originally made notebook computers, but entered the smartphone market, and at one point in 2011 it was the largest smartphone seller in the US, holding 24 per cent, compared to Samsung’s 21 per cent and Apple (20 per cent), but its market share has subsequently fallen sharply.

A smartphone is shown next to Kim Jong-un as he presided over a meeting with top national security advisers last week. Photo: AFP

Kim Jong-un's mystery smartphone likely HTC

A picture of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with a smartphone has triggered fevered speculation about which brand is favoured by the leader of one of the world’s most repressive nations.

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