(Refiles to fix headline)
SEOUL, June 11 LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS),
the world's third-largest mobile phone maker, will maintain its
global market share target at 10 percent for this year and aims
to become No.2 by 2012, the head of its handset business said on
With the mobile phone market expected to shrink by up to 10
percent this year amid the global economic downturn, handset
makers are striving to prop up sales by focusing on a few growth
areas such as smartphones and emerging markets.
"Our goal of a 10 percent market share remains unchanged,"
Skott Ahn, president and CEO of Mobile Communications at LG, said
at a news conference. "We will become the global No. 2 in 2012,
and that goal applies to smartphones as well."
In handset terms, LG trails Nokia NOK1V.HE and Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), but is ahead of Motorola Inc
MOT.N and Sony Ericsson (6758.T) (ERICb.ST). In 2008, LG sold
100.7 million phones to claim about 9 percent of the market.
Ahn also said LG was optimistic that its share of the
fast-growing Chinese market would more than treble this year from
2 percent in 2008.
"China is migrating fast to 3G (third-generation)
Ahn was speaking at the domestic launch of LG's new premium
model "ARENA", a touchscreen phone with a three-dimensional user
interface. LG aimed to sell at least 5 million units during the
ARENA's lifecycle, Ahn said.
Ma Chang-min, vice-president in charge of marketing strategy
for Mobile Communications, said LG would unveil about 80 handset
models globally in 2009, of which 12 would be premium models.
Sales of smartphones that provide computer-like functionality
will jump 28 percent in 2009, according to research firm Gartner.
LG has teamed up with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) to enhance its
smartphone offering and also plans to unveil a handset running on
Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android software later this year.
LG has scheduled the launch of its own download store for
July in the Korean market, aiming to eventually make it a place
for LG phone users to access applications and digital content
such as games and music.
"Open operating systems will be the mainstream," Ahn said.
Companies from device makers to mobile service operators are
offering virtual download stores, following the success of Apple
Inc's (AAPL.O) App Store.
(Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Chris Lewis)