LG forecasts 20% growth in handset sales

LG Electronics is predicting a 20 percent rise in its handset sales in both 2009 and for 2010, a bullish estimate that contrasts with relatively tepid expectations for overall growth in the handset market.

Skott Ahn, the head of LG's handset division, made the forecasts in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He also said the company would look to boost its presence in emerging markets in China, India and other parts of Asia.

Whereas LG sounded a confident tone, research group Strategy Analytics recently predicted a 3 percent rise in the overall handset market in the fourth quarter. The market is expected to gradually recover next year, according to the firm, following an average decline of 11 percent during the past three quarters.

LG appears to be at least partially basing its forecasts on strong smartphone performance. The South Korean company is planning a big push with Windows Mobile smartphones, and Ahn's comments come in the wake of remarks earlier this week from LG CEO Nam Yong, who said he no longer sees the likes of Nokia and Sony Ericsson as its main competitors, and instead views Apple, Palm and Research In Motion as the main competition.

LG said handset sales totalled $3.53 billion in the third quarter, up nearly 25 percent from the year-ago quarter. The company said it shipped 31.6 million handsets in the quarter, up 37 percent from the year-ago quarter, and up 6 percent from the 29.82 million it shipped in the second quarter.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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