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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/09/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) LG Electronics is all set to usher in new era with the launch of its flagship smartphone range in Dubai this week, a top official said.


The global technology innovator in consumer electronics and mobile communications is confident of securing q double-digit share of smartphone market in Middle East and Africa, or MEA, this year.

"We are going to launch a new product range in premium smartphone segment by introducing the G2 in Dubai. The release will mark LG's re-entry into the region's mobile communications market," Stan Lee, mobile division head of LG Electronics Gulf, told Khaleej Times in an interview ahead of official launch event later this week.

He said the new series of flagship products will be immediately available in the market across the region at a competitive price range.

"The flagship product launch reflects LG's consumer-centric approach and will transform the smartphone market in the region. Premium products, such as the G series smartphones, are an incredibly important part of our business. These models enable us to showcase our competitiveness in the global market place," he said.

"LG will continue to bring megahit products that continue the tradition of excellence established by the G series, which includes the G Pro and G2," he said.

Strong comeback

Lee said LG's mobile phone business remained in a low profile despite the fact that it has been an active player in the market since early 2000. He said the company is confident of increasing its market share in the region with the help of seven products it launched in the premium category this year.

"We sold an impressive 12.1 million smartphones in second quarter of 2013, which is more than double the 5.7 million figures recorded during the same period last year. We will complete the global launch of our new G2 smartphone within eight weeks of its Korean release," he said.

Smartphone competition

Lee is pinning his hopes on the G2 to regain a leading share in the premium smartphone segment due to its superior design, powerful performance and differentiated UX features.

"The G2 launch will have a significant impact on our sales across the globe. We expect good business in premium smartphone category in fourth quarter and the G2 will dominate the market," he said.

"Though the upcoming launch event, we would be entering the double-digit bracket in the MEA region by the end of this year," he added.

About the competition with global peers in smartphone segment, he said the technical specifications of LG's smartphones are equal to, if not better than, the products offered by other companies.

"LG is very strong in terms of its ability to develop advanced UX features and functions. We are confident in the competitiveness of our advanced products," he said.

Lee said the Optimus G Pro has already proven extremely popular worldwide. After only four months of its availability in South Korea, the G Pro hit the million-sold mark - no other LG device has ever sold so quickly. "We feel that this model, and our soon-to-be-released G2, represent viable alternatives to new offerings available in the market," he said.

"As the overall level of smartphone innovation has flattened, so has the technological and product quality gap between the leading companies and the relative new comers," he said, and adding that LG's innovative product range has an edge over the competitors' lineups unveiled this year so far.

"I believe the G2 is an innovative smartphone in premium category and has all the elements to appease the customers looking for a 'real' change," he said.

MEA outlook

Lee said the MEA is the fastest -growing smartphone market in the world with Gulf countries having a major share in the booming business. "The smartphone market in the Gulf region is witnessing a 40 per cent growth annually, which is higher compared to any other part of the world," he said.

In the Gulf, he said the UAE is the benchmark country for the smartphone business and LG is focused to strengthen its position in the emirate by launching the G2 in Dubai.

"We expect the G Pro and G2 will help boost more than double our business in the UAE this year," he said, adding that the G2's commercial launch ahead of the forthcoming Gitex event will promote business prospects of new premium smartphones.

"Gitex is the best technology platform to highlight flagship devices as the consumers, retailers, telecom operators, media and other stakeholders will be under one roof to experience and see a wide range of products," he said.

To a question, he said LG is in talks with leading Gulf telecom operators including etisalat, du and Zain, among others, to promote its premium products.

Core markets

Lee said Korea, the United States, South America and Europe traditionally remain core markets for LG Electronics, but now emerging nations and the MEA have surfaced as strong growth areas for the company.

"Our strategic market growth strategy includes reinforcing our position in mature markets like Korea, the US, Europe and Japan, and establishing a solid foundation in emerging nations including Brazil, Mexico, Russia, the MEA, China and India," he said.

With smartphone penetration in mature markets approaching the 50 per cent mark, Lee said the growth trend has inclined to emerging markets. "There are different consumer needs and cost issues that must be considered. This requires competitiveness across all segments - premium, mid- and lower-tier - and an in-depth understanding of individual markets," he said.

He said LG will target European markets in the second half of this year by launching the acclaimed Optimus G Pro. "We will demonstrate the superior quality and competitiveness of our technology with the worldwide launch of the G2," Lee said.

 






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