LG Electronics said it sold more than 1 million of its flagship Optimus LTE smartphones globally since the device's debut in South Korea in October, and the company's stock rose on optimism that its handset unit might post a fourth-quarter profit.
LG Optimus LTE
The news is a bit of a bright spot for the South Korean firm, which has struggled to keep with larger rival Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the smartphone arena. LG said it sold 600,000 units of the high-end device in South Korea and 400,000 outside. LG also noted that three major North American carriers have launched the device, including AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), which launched it as the Nitro HD in December for $250 with a two-year contract (it is now sold for $200). The device has a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, 8-megapixel camera and up to 20 GB of total storage.
LG has had other recent U.S. wins for its Android-based LTE devices. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) earlier this month launched the LG Spectrum, which features a 4.5-inch True HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) display. Verizon is selling it for $200 with a two-year contract. Flat-rate player MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) will also launch the LG Connect 4G this month, adding to its LTE smartphone lineup.
In trading in Seoul, the company's stock rose 4.1 percent amid market optimism that its handset unit will turn a profit in the fourth quarter after six straight quarters of losses. LG has said it plans to raise $940 million via a rights offering in a bid to boost investment in its handset unit and other core businesses. The company will also boost spending on smartphones in 2012.
- see this release
- see this CNET article
- see this Bloomberg article
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