LG aims to be No. 2 handset maker by 2012

LG Electronics said it will maintain its global handset market share target of 10 percent this year and is shooting to be the world's No. 2 handset maker by 2012, the head of the company's handset division said.

"Our goal of a 10 percent market share remains unchanged," Skott Ahn, president and CEO of LG's mobile communications division, said at a news conference, according to Reuters. "We will become the global No. 2 in 2012, and that goal applies to smartphones as well."

The company trails Nokia and rival South Korean firm Samsung Electronics in global market share. When it reported its first quarter results, LG said it expects the overall worldwide handset market to contract 10 percent, or 260 million units, in 2009.

Ma Chang-min, vice president of marketing strategy for LG's mobile communications division, said the company would release about 80 handset models globally in 2009, and 12 would be high-end models. The company has said it will unveil its first phone based on Google's Android platform this year as well, and Ahn added that "open operating systems will be the mainstream." 

LG shipped 22.6 million handsets in the first quarter, down from 25.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008. However, the operating margin for the company's handset unit rose to 6 percent, up from from 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3.64 percent in the year-ago quarter.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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