LG banks on Optimus Android smartphones

LG released details for its Optimus One and Optimus Chic Android smartphones, and it hopes the Optimus One can help the company make headway in the smartphone market.

LG Optimus one android phoneThe two handsets had been previously announced, but LG never gave specifications or release dates for the phones. LG, which has never had a smartphone reach the 1 million sales mark, is hoping the Optimus One can help it achieve that milestone. Both the Optimus One and Optimus Chic run on Android 2.2, have a 600 MHz processor, 3.2-inch screen and WFi. The Optimus One has a 3-megapixel camera. The Optimus Chic, geared toward customers interested in style, has a 5-megapixel camera.

LG said the Optimus One will be available in 90 countries on more than 120 carriers in Europe and Asia. The Optimus One will be available in October and the Optimus Chic will follow in November; LG did not release pricing information. LG did not mention the U.S. as a launch market for either phone. The company currently offers the Android-powered Ally in the U.S. market.

LG still holds the No. 3 ranking among global handset makers, but its smartphone market share is tiny--1.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Gartner. LG's handset unit posted an operating loss of $101 million in the quarter, a dramatic reversal of the $524 million profit it recorded in the year-ago period. Chang Ma, vice president of marketing for LG's handset division, told Dow Jones Newswires in August that the company plans to release 10 more smartphones before year-end, and aims to reach 5 million smartphone shipments this year.

The company's ambitions contrast sharply with those of larger South Korean rival, Samsung, which said earlier this month that it expects to ship 25 million smartphones this year, up from a previous target of 18 million. That earlier target, announced in February, was itself triple the number of smartphones Samsung shipped in 2009.

For more:
- see this LG release
- see this Reuters article
- see this IntoMobile post

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