The smartphone market is booming and many manufacturers are seeing their profits live and die by the popularity of their smartphones offerings. The smartphone segment is one of the few where margins can be high and demand is strong from consumers.
LG is the world’s number three smartphone maker and the company is looking to grow its share of the market in 2010 by 20%. Reuters reports that LG plans to do this by focusing more on Android as the OS for its smartphone line. The South Korean company plans to offer at least 10 devices this year that run the Android OS.
That is interesting after LG signed with Microsoft in February 2009 to deploy smartphones with Windows Mobile as the operating system of choice. LG’s Skott Ahn, president and CEO of mobile communications for LG said, “The fact that we’ll have a bit more Android phones this year doesn’t mean our ties with Microsoft are weakening.” He continued saying, “Windows Mobile still has legacy issues that makes it challenging to compete in mobiles: we know it and Microsoft knows it.”
The future of the Windows Mobile OS is murky with its market share falling as its competitors increase their share. In November 2009, Gartner statistics showed that the Windows Mobile OS held 7.9% of the market whiles the iPhone OS had grown to 17.1% of the market. At the same time rumors are circulating that Windows Mobile 7 might be delayed again due in part to stiff competition from other OS’ like Android. Last year LG sold 117 million handsets, LG hopes to sell 140 million mobile phones in 2010 and claim 10% of the global market.
Analyst Han Eun-mee said, “LG should be able to post some growth in unit sales, but margins could come under pressure if the growth comes from the low-end.”
LG plans to introduce at least ten more smartphones this year that run OS’ other than Android, presumably most of those will be Windows Mobile handsets. However, some of the devices will be LiMo handsets according to LG making most of its smartphones reliant on Android.