LG Keeps Annual Smartphone Sales Goal After Shipments Lag

LG Electronics Inc. said it will maintain this year’s smartphone sales target after estimated shipments through the first half lagged behind the goal amid competition with Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

The target “is valid so far,” Park Jong Seok, head of the mobile-phone business, said at a Seoul briefing to introduce a new Optimus smartphone running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. “There will be the full-on impact of new products. We are still giving it a shot.”

LG targets sales of 30 million to 35 million smartphones globally this year amid intensifying competition as Apple and Samsung introduce new models. Seoul-based LG sold 10.7 million smartphones in the first half, according to estimates by Dongbu Securities Co. and IBK Securities Co.

The latest 4.7-inch Optimus phone, first announced last month, runs on a processor made by Qualcomm Inc. to operate on fourth-generation Long Term Evolution, or LTE, networks that offer faster Internet connections. The model goes on sale in South Korea next week and will be released overseas in October, starting with Japan, according to a statement today.

The product will contribute to an estimated 10.6 percent year-on-year rise in fourth-quarter revenue at LG’s handset business, Kwon Sung Ryul, a Seoul-based analyst at Dongbu Securities, wrote in an Aug. 29 report. Marketing costs may increase in the third quarter and eat into earnings as LG faces competition from new devices from Samsung and Apple, Park said.

The company doesn’t have a plan to use Microsoft Corp.’s operating system in its phones, Park said.

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