LG expects to launch a few Windows Phone 7 mobiles this year

The company's handset business took a hit in the second quarter

South Korea's LG Electronics will launch its first smartphone designed around Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software by the end of September and will follow with more by the end of the year, a company representative said Wednesday.

Photos of one of the LG smartphones have already been shown off by a number of enthusiast blogs. That phone is ready to go, according to LG.

"We have a deep relationship with Microsoft so expect to have a couple by the end of this year," said Ken Hong, an LG representative in Seoul.

The company also expects to pour more money into research and development around other mobile phone OSs, including Android and other Linux distributions, he said.

On Wednesday LG reported troubling financial results at its mobile phone division, including an operating loss and a 30.8 percent drop in sales revenue compared to the same time last year. Handset shipments increased 2 percent year on year to 30.6 million units.

Average selling prices dropped as a result of the company's emerging markets strategy, according to Hong. Sales of low-end handsets were strong in emerging markets, but high-end handset sales lagged, he said.

LG will continue to follow its long-term strategy by investing aggressively to expand in emerging markets this year, he said.

LG is the world's third-largest mobile phone vendor, behind Nokia and Samsung Electronics, according to Gartner. The market researcher said LG held an 8.6 percent share of the mobile phone market in the first quarter of this year.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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