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LG becomes No. 3 in global smartphone sales

A model poses with LG Electronics’ new Optimus L5 II, which will roll out in overseas markets starting with Brazil this week, at the company’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul, Monday. (LGE)
A model poses with LG Electronics’ new Optimus L5 II, which will roll out in overseas markets starting with Brazil this week, at the company’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul, Monday. (LGE)
LG Electronics finally hit the mark by becoming the third-largest smartphone vendor in terms of wholesale revenue, according to recent statistics released by Strategy Analytics.

The market research firm said that LG’s global smartphone volume for the final quarter of last year had gone up 77 percent year-on-year due to increased volume and improved average price tag from handsets running on Long Term Evolution networks. Its smartphone wholesale revenue share marked 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics were ranked first and second, respectively, with the two taking up more than 70 percent of the market, it said. Global smartphone shipments also rose by 38 percent annually in the fourth quarter.

LG, a latecomer to the global smartphone arena, has struggled since the launch of its rivals’ flagship gadgets such as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S series. While touting itself as a strong contender in feature phones, it needed more time than its competitors to come up with its own flagship model to garner a bigger stake in the fast-changing industry.

LG has been getting involved in the fight with its Optimus series, which is now led by a lineup including the Optimus G Pro, Optimus Vu 2 and the Optimus L Series and F Series.

“Based on the lineup of the four series, LG will present good performance in terms of profits and total sales,” said the firm’s mobile chief Park Jong-seok. “Continued investment in research and development, efficient marketing, optimized supply chain management and gaining an edge in cost competitiveness are part of that effort.”

The handset maker has announced that it plans to sell at least 40 million smartphones this year, up over 50 percent from what it sold last year.

The Seoul-based firm sold 26.3 million smartphones in 2012, according to data released by Strategy Analytics.

In the meantime, LG announced it would roll out Optimus L5 II ― a handset running on the third-generation communication networks ― in Brazil this week, with plans to also launch the device in the Middle East, Europe and other Asian markets soon after.

The new smartphone, equipped with a 4-inch display and 1-gigahertz single-core mobile processor, will be operating on Google’s 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile platform.

It will feature smart liquid-emitting diode lighting in various colors that alerts the user to notifications like missed calls and messages and feature a Quick Button that eliminates the need for tapping repeatedly through menus.

“The Optimus L5II will offer consumers another great option among devices in the premium 3G market,” said Park.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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