LG Electronics' mobile devices unit reaped the rewards from its increased focus on LTE smartphones. The company saw smartphone sales in the fourth quarter increase 23 percent to 8.6 million devices, compared with the previous quarter of 7 million in smartphone sales. In addition, LG revenues also increased 15 percent over the previous quarter to $2.6 billion.
Nevertheless, LG's overall mobile handset shipments declined in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 15.4 million, from 17.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. That figure was down from 30.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Despite the weaker shipment volumes, LG said it was encouraged by the sales of its premium LTE smartphones such as the Optimus G and the Vu:2. The company said it plans to increase smartphone revenues and market share by launching follow-up devices to the Optimus G and the L-series as well as the new F-series.
The South Korean vendor, which makes a slew of consumer devices including refrigerators and TVs, reported overall consolidated revenue of $45.2 billion and net profit of $80.75 million for the full-year of 2012. In the fourth quarter, the company reported revenues of $12.4 billion with an operating profit of $98.1 million.
LG has been working hard to recover its leadership in mobile devices by increasing its smartphone business. However, the company has been hit hard by intense competition from Apple as well as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE.
Huawei and ZTE recently displaced LG in research firm IDC's ranking of the world's largest smartphone vendors. According to IDC, Huawei and ZTE took the No. 3 and No. 5 global smartphone spots. Huawei shipped 10.8 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and captured 4.9 percent of the global smartphone market in the quarter. ZTE shipped 9.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and got 4.3 percent of the market, up from 6.4 million units and 4 percent in the year-ago quarter.
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