LG Electronics released the Optimus G here on Tuesday, a handset it hopes will put it squarely amid the global smartphone race. LG said it is up to the challenge and plans to release the new phone in Japan in October and the U.S. in November. As of last month, LG sold around 5 million LTE smartphones worldwide.
The release of the Optimus G overlaps with the arrival of its rivals iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note 2.
Industry sources forecast that LG will sell around 2 million Optimus G handsets during the fourth quarter amid intense competition. The figure pales in comparison to the Galaxy S3, however, which has already racked up sales of 10 million units just two months after its release. Nonetheless, if LG meets the predicted figure it would still mark a two-to three-fold increase from recent sales of its existing smartphones.
"The Optimus G and LG's other new smartphones have improved features that can match their rivals," said Kim Hyun-yong, an analyst at SK Securities.
The Optimus G is thinner than its predecessors by integrating the cover glass and touch sensor into one component, courtesy of new technology developed jointly by LG Display, LG Innotek and LG Chemical. Additionally, the battery is built into the phone, while its screen is 4.7 inches, smaller than the 5-inch screens used by many smartphones these days. But LG insisted that the size difference is negligible.
"As you can see in the iPhone 5's 4-inch screen, smaller is not always bad. We will bolster our large-screen products including the Optimus View2 and other smartphones," LG said.