updated 11:25 am EDT, Thu June 11, 2009
LG Aims for No 2 Spot
LG's mobile chief Skott Ahn today told the press that his company is planning to claim second place in both the overall and smartphone markets by 2012. The Korean company expects its total phone share to remain a flat 10 percent in 2009, or third place behind Nokia and Samsung, but also anticipates moving up much more quickly among the more advanced devices, where it doesn't yet count among the top five. Much of the boost should come from its deal with Microsoft for Windows Mobile phones, but at least one Android phone is due this year.
LG has a handful of Windows Mobile smartphones already but still focuses its high-end lineup almost exclusively on "feature phones," or those which have little to no support for third-party apps. They regularly sell well, with at least 5 million Arenas alone due to ship by the time the phone leaves the market, but fare poorly in software compared to similar devices like Apple's iPhone or Nokia's 5800 XpressMusic.
To address the problem, LG says it plans to open its own download portal. Launching in its native Korea in July, the service will compete indirectly against the iPhone's App Store and will offer both apps for LG devices as well as music. The company hasn't said whether it plans to expand the store to other regions.
Among current or prospective smartphone leaders, only Fujitsu and LG lack app stores run either by themselves or by an OS designer such as Microsoft.