Electronics manufacturer LG announced the upcoming release of two Google Android-powered smartphones, the Optimus One and Optimus Chic, which will run the latest version of Android, Froyo 2.2. The Optimus One boasts a 3.2-inch (320 by 480) HVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 170MB internal storage and a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus. The Chic comes with a 3.2-inch HVGA (320 by 480) HVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 150MB internal memory and a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus.
The One is expected to arrive in "most of Europe in October" and then later in other EMEA and Asia-Pacific countries, according to a digital press conference the company held. LG said the Chic would be making its way to Europe in November and then other Asia-Pacific markets. Both come with a 600MHz CPU processors, MicroSC, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and a custom application called the LG App Advisor, which helps users determine what apps they might like to download from Android Marketplace based on what they've downloaded in the past. The Optimus One has a 1500mAh battery, while the Chic has a 1250mAh battery, according to the company.
Along with Nokia and Samsung, LG led the worldwide handset market through another growing quarter, Strategy Analytics said in a July 30 report. Handset shipments reached 308 million units, up 13 percent from 273 million units a year earlier. Driving this forward motion, said the firm, were high-end 3G touch phones in developed markets and lower-end 2G handsets in emerging ones.
LG shipped 30.6 million units during the quarter, for approximately 10 percent market share. IDC points to the launches of the Android-running Ally and Optimus Q phones as big contributors to sales, but adds that from a financial perspective, "LG's revenue and profits declined sharply from a year ago, reflecting ASP declines from an aging portfolio and expenses incurred from R&D and marketing."
The company announced a few New Year's resolutions on Jan. 13, one of which was to sell 140 million units in 2010, representing a 20 percent year-over-year increase from 2009. LG additionally said that it is rolling out a multipart plan that will enable it to become one of the top two mobile device manufacturers in the world by 2012. A key part of this will be the introduction of 20 smartphones based on a variety of handset operating systems, including Android, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Linux.
LG said that in 2009, it opened approximately 100 mobile retail stores in developing countries and that it now plans to push into Korean and North American markets, where it wants to be known for innovative smartphones. In the first half of the year, LG will release smartphones for first-time buyers, followed by more "cutting edge" designs, presumably to better compete against the likes of Apple, Motorola, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and Palm, in the second half.
"We are facing another revolutionary change in the mobile industry thanks to the rapid growth of smartphones and demand for more content and better services," said Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics, in a statement. "We will continue to make breakthroughs in 2010 as we strive to maintain our trendsetter status and become one of the global top two by 2012."