South Korea's No. 2 handset maker, LG Electronics Inc., is anticipated to ship more than 60 million units of smartphones in 2014, analysts said Monday, backed by its robust sales of the G3 flagship model.
"While the competition in the smartphone sector is set to escalate over the second half, the G3 model will continue to gain ground before the launch of the new iPhone," Kiwoom Securities Co. said in its report, adding the local rival of Samsung Electronics Co. will post annual sales of 62 million units in 2014.
It will mark the first time for the company to post an annual smartphone sales figure hovering above the 60-million unit mark since LG tapped into the industry in 2010.
While LG, a latecomer to the smartphone industry, only posted annual shipment of around 20 million units in 2011 and 2012, it pulled up its sales in 2013 to 47.6 million units, helped by its G lineup, as well as low-end models, which reached a more diverse scope of users.
Last month, market researcher IDC Corp. said LG posted a market share of 4.9 percent in the second quarter in the smartphone industry, while Samsung took up 25.2 percent, down 7.1 percentage points from the 32.3 percent posted in 2013.
The decline apparently came as Chinese firms expanded their presence in the market, with Huawei raising its sales to 20.3 million units in the second quarter, up 95.1 percent from 2013. Its market share came to 6.9 percent.
Analysts, however, said the Chinese players will have only a limited impact on LG, as the emerging companies are focusing more on low-end models, unlike the South Korean player that aims to expand sales of its high-end G3 model.
LG said earlier its net profit jumped 164.8 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier to 411.8 billion won ($402.18 million) on the strong performance of its mobile communications division.
The division shipped a record high 14.5 million units of its smartphones in the second quarter, up 20 percent from a year earlier. One out of three handsets sold through end-June supported the long-term evolution network.
Analysts expect the sales of the G3 will continue to gain ground, as the company began sales of the G3 in the United States.
LG aims to eventually sell the G3 in 100 countries worldwide.
In May, LG Electronics introduced the G3, a revamped version of its predecessor, the G2, to take on Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Apple's next high-end smartphone, the iPhone 6, rumored to be released in the third quarter. (Yonhap)