LG Upgrades Flagship Smartphone to Revive Fortunes
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korean handset maker LG Electronics Inc. has upgraded its flagship smartphone model with a faster chip and a longer battery life, hoping to regain ground lost to more nimble rivals.
The Optimus LTE II smartphone, which costs 935,000 won ($804) without subsidies, will be released by all three mobile carriers in South Korea this week. Park Jong-seok, president of LG’s mobile business, said Thursday the new model is for South Korean users only but similar iterations would be released overseas.
LG, which is recuperating from massive losses in its mobile business since 2010, is betting on the introduction of a faster mobile network called LTE around the world to boost smartphone sales.
Mobile carriers in South Korea, Japan, North America and Europe have begun services on the latest wireless network, aiming to lure consumers seeking quicker downloads of videos and smooth web surfing on a phone.
With a 2-gigabyte memory capacity, the new Optimus phone can run multiple applications simultaneously at a faster rate, LG said. Most other high-end smartphones have a 1- or 1.5-gigabyte memory.
LG claimed the new phone’s battery life is about 40 percent longer than its predecessor, the Optimus LTE.
Once the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker, LG was overtaken by Apple Inc. last year. Sales of LG’s low-end phones were hit by Chinese competitors while its top-end lineup could not compete with the Galaxy series of smartphones by Samsung Electronics Co. or Apple’s iPhones.