LG Electronics Inc has become the world's No.3 smartphone maker behind
Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for the first time in the $223
billion market, industry data showed, as solid sales of high-end models
helped it win customers.
LG saw its smartphone market share rise to
3.2 percent in the fourth quarter by sales, propelling it to the third
spot for the first time, while rival HTC Corp slid to fourth, data from
research firm Strategy Analytics showed.
Samsung and Apple took a
combined 71.4 percent of the market and the rest is split among firms
such as LG, HTC, Sony Corp and BlackBerry, the data showed.
growing optimism that LG's smartphone business will recover, LG
Electronics shares have gained 54 percent from their 2012 low hit in
late July. The shares ended up nearly 2 percent on Thursday at 86,600
won, the highest in more than a year.
LG is betting high-end
models that boast powerful hardware and software features and a fast 4G
connection will help it rebuild its tarnished handset brand quality and
increase its market share of the lower-end segment as well.
South Korean company announced on Thursday software upgrades for its
flagship Optimus G Pro model that will allow consumers access to
features that Samsung touted as major selling points of its upcoming
Galaxy S4. The move is its latest attempt to boost appeal to upmarket
consumers before rival products hit the market.
The features LG is
adding include motion detecting technology that stops and starts videos
depending on whether someone is looking at the screen and snapping
The 5-inch Optimus Pro debuted in South Korea in late
February and in Japan this month. It is LG's fastest-selling smartphone
with sales hitting 500,000 in the first 40 days of the launch, LG said.
terms of unit shipments, LG remains the seventh-largest with a 4.0
percent share, following Huawei, Lenovo Group Ltd, Sony and ZTE Corp
which have market share of between 4 and 5 percent.
expect LG's smartphone shipments will rise by 16 percent to a record 10
million after 8.6 million phones sold in the fourth quarter, a strong
performance as the overall market is seen contracting by 6 percent from
the strong year-end holiday quarter.
HTC reported on Monday a
record-low quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates after it
delayed the full launch of its 2013 flagship smartphone model, which
will now debut against Samsung's newest Galaxy.
LG reports its first-quarter results on April 24.
© Thomson Reuters 2013