LG Eyes Bigger Mobile Market Share

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LG Electronics is looking to move ahead of Samsung to become the second-largest cell phone maker by 2012, according to an interview with LG mobile president Seung-kwon Ahn.
LG is best known in the U.S. market for its mid-level phones like the Voyager and the Dare, but it will be placing a stronger emphasis on smartphones. The company released its first U.S. smartphone with the Incite last November, and LG’s mobile chief told the Yonhap News Agency that the company will be coming out with a high-end smartphone in the fourth quarter that will be a serious competitor to Apple’s iPhone.

Ahn said it doesn’t necessarily need to have the most advanced handsets to increase market share.
“I emphasize to my employees that LG does not pursue technology for its own sake,” Ahn said. “That would simply be dragging customers to what we want, not to want they want.”

The company will also look at the high-end market as an avenue of growth, as it will be bringing out another phone in its Prada lineup. Additionally, the company will be creating its own luxury brand of smartphones that will be “similar to Toyota (NYSE: TM)’s Lexus and Nokia (NYSE: NOK)’s Vertu,” Ahn said.

LG has made strong strides in the mobile industry over the last few years, as it surpassed Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson to become the third-largest cell phone maker. The company may have a tough time catching up to Samsung in such a short period though, as LG has about 9% of the global cell phone market compared to Samsung’s 18%.

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