September 14, 2010

LG Hopes To Turn Around Mobile Unit Loss With New Phone

LG Electronics Inc. hopes to sell 10 million Optimus One smartphones as it seeks to turn around losses within their mobile unit.

The South Korean firm is betting that booming demand for Google's Android-powered smartphones will help it bounce back.

LG reported a record loss from handset sales last quarter as it failed to introduce a strong enough smartphone lineup.

"Optimus One is the result of our efforts to introduce a million-seller product, and for this, some 500 engineers from LG and Google have worked together since late last year," LG said in a statement on Tuesday.

It hopes that introducing a new model, along with a new line-up of smartphones powered by Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7, will revive its reputation.

However, investors are concerned that the new rollouts may come too late as rivals will begin to aggressively roll out new products for the holiday shopping season as well.

UBS said last week that it expects LG's handset division to widen losses this quarter and remain in the red until the second quarter of next year.

Samsung Electronics Co. said this month that it expects its smartphone sales will reach 25 million units, exceeding an earlier target of 18 million.

"We plan to introduce full smartphone lineups, ranging from low-end to premium segments by the yearend and aggressively market our products," Skott Ahn, chief executive of LG's mobile division, said in a statement.

The new Optimus One will be available in about 90 countries in October and will feature a 3.2-inch full touchscreen.


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