LG Electronics jumped to second place in global sales of fourth-generation smartphones that run on the high-speed long-term evolution (LTE) network in the last quarter of 2011.
The tech firm sold some 800,000 handsets in the three-month period to claim a 20 percent market share, according to Strategic Analytics, a U.S. market research firm. LG came second after Samsung Electronics, which took a dominant 41 percent market share based on sales of 1.7 million LTE phones.
LG sales soared more than five-fold from the previous quarter, when it only sold 150,000 units, to climb ahead of Taiwan's HTC, which sold 700,000 LTE phones, Motorola of the U.S. (400,000 units) and Pantech (300,000 units). Korean firms thus ranked first, second and fifth in the global LTE phone market.
However, much of LG's recent success is credited to its skyrocketing demand at home, where it sold three-quarters, or 600,000 of the phones. Moreover, a considerable portion -- or 470,000 -- of the LTE phones were purchased by LG Uplus, one of its subsidiaries, according to industry insiders, so LG's true reckoning would have placed it fourth not second in the global ranking.
"We released the Optimus LTE, our key LTE smartphone model, in the U.S. and Canadian markets only last December," said one of the company's executives. "We also released our signature LTE model in Japan in January, so we expect the sales of our LTE phones will soar in the first quarter of this year."