LG aims to take on Samsung and Apple in smartphone biz

Telecom Lead @ Mobile World Congress 2013: LG is aiming to take on Samsung and Apple in the smartphone business.

The Korean electronics giant is looking to sell 10 million smartphone each quarter and double sales of LTE devices in 2013 from 7.2 million last year.

This is LG’s most ambitious smartphone strategy to date. Analysts say it will be a tough task for LG.

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“Flagship models from the G and Vu: series will target the premium segment while the F and L series will be positioned as more mass audience smartphones for 4G LTE and the 3G markets, respectively,” said LG in a statement.

As part of its expansion plan, LG Electronics will share its smartphone strategy and new products at Mobile World Congress.

The four strategic Optimus series devices – G, Vu:, F and LII – feature LG’s core technologies. The flagship Optimus G model will be released in 50 countries this quarter.

This year, LG hopes a focus on uniquely designed smartphones with quality displays will help drive annual sales to 40 million units, up 51 percent from 26.5 million last year.

That’s well below Samsung’s smartphone sale last year. Analysts say Samsung shipped around 380 million to 400 million units of mobile phones. Smartphones account for the bulk of Samsung’s mobile-phone sales.

LG’s smartphone sales target is equivalent to a 4 percent market share, based on research firm Gartner’s forecast for global smartphone sales of one billion units this year. Last year, LG missed its target of a maximum 35 million units.

While many phone makers are looking at bigger growth opportunities with mid- to low-end smartphones, LG aims to expand in all market segments.

“We still see a lot of opportunities in advanced markets, like North America and Europe,” said Paul Bae, executive vice president for LG’s mobile communications division.

“We’re still in a rush to chase bigger rivals. If we had enough market share in advanced markets we’d focus on emerging markets, but there’s enough growth potential in advanced markets. So the plan is to focus on both,” he added.

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