In a move believed calculated to guard its market share from rivals like Apple’s iPhone, LG announced that it will release its second generation smart phone with select applications pre-installed. The LG-LU230 phone is scheduled for release in South Korea during the second quarter and will run Google’s Android platform.
The phone will come with the most frequently used applications, including an augmented reality service. The augmented reality app adds information on top of map views shown in the phone’s camera. For example, when a user places the phone’s viewer on a restaurant the app will provide reviews, menus, and pictures provided by other users and data sources.
“In the past, smartphone users had to download and install all application programs in their new phones,” said Na Joo-young, a spokeswoman for LG. “To address concerns from first-time smartphone users who wanted an easy access to numerous applications, we decided to preload the best applications in our phones.”
Apple introduced its iPhone to the South Korean market in December 2009. At that time, LG and Samsung held 80% of the market share. However, last December Apple sold 200,000 units of the iPhone in South Korea. That’s the highest monthly sales total for mobile handsets on record in South Korea.
LG and Samsung sell phones with lower specifications. These phones are cheaper and have less functionality than the more expensive iPhone. LG and Samsung still dominate the both the Korean and world markets in terms of mobile phones.
However, LG and Samsung only hold 4% of the smartphone market. That market is much more profitable than regular mobile phones which means LG and Samsung are earning less than their rivals who dominate the smartphone market. With this new focus on smartphones using the Google’s Android platform, LG hopes it can gain ground in the smartphone market.
Source: Telecoms Korea – LG Electronics to launch smartphone with built-in augmented reality feature.