August 09, 2013 11:08
LG unveiled its new flagship smartphone G2 in the U.S. on Wednesday. The company has embarked on an eight-week tour of 60 countries to market the G2 via 130 telecoms around the world.
Analysts say the fate of LG's smartphone business hangs on the success or failure of the G2. If the firm manages to sell almost 10 million, it would consolidate its status among the global premium smartphone leaders Samsung and Apple.
But if sales sputter, LG would end up lumped with low-cost smartphone makers ZTE and Huawei of China and face intense competition to survive.
◆ Top Specs
The G2 features some convenient functions. For instance, users need only tap on the screen twice to switch it on or raise the phone to ear level to take a call. And for a better grip, LG placed the on/off switch and volume buttons on the back instead of the sides.
The G2 also has a larger screen than some rivals with 5.2 inches because LG narrowed bezel around the screen to just 2.65 mm. The phone is equipped with a 13-million-pixel DSLR camera and is the world's first smartphone with hi-fi sound quality, the firm claims.
It offers LTE Advanced (LTE-A) network speeds enabling data transmission twice as fast as LTE phones.
It will compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5. A month from now, Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy Note 3, and Apple is also projected to release a new iPhone.
◆ Make or Break
LG hopes to sell more than 10 million G2s. Since sales of LG's Optimus G and G Pro did not surpass five million, the target is rather lofty, but the G2 has gotten off to a good start. By launching it via 130 telecoms around the world, LG has embarked on a marketing blitz that rivals Samsung and Apple. The Optimus G was marketed through only 80 telecoms and the G Pro through 60.
LG ranks as the world's No. 3 smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, but its global market share is less than half of theirs and just 0.3 to 0.5 percentage point ahead of fourth and fifth-ranked ZTE and Huawei of China.
Last year, LG fell to No. 4 in the global market when it was briefly overtaken by Huawei. "If we fail to become a presence among premium smartphones like the iPhone or Galaxy series, we could end up having to compete with low-end Chinese smartphone makers," an LG staffer said.
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