LG Optimus One bets on Android, skips North America

Struggling South Korean phone maker LG has entered the Android fray, announcing its first Android-powered smartphone in the form of its new Optimus One “with Google,” which features a 3.2-inch touchscreen display and Android 2.2 “Froyo,” with LG’s own LG user interface. And LG is optimistic it will sell as many as 10 million of the handset through some 120 carrier partners in 90 countries…however, right now, those plans don’t include the North American market.

“LG has a vision of helping people access information fast and easily, no matter where they are. We believe the Optimus series will play a significant role in accomplishing our vision,” said LG Mobile Communications CEO and president Skott Ahn, in a statement.

LG has been struggling to make a dent in the smartphone market, and has yet to see a smartphone sell more than one million units. The company racked up a record loss in handset sales last quarter and has already warned of a similar loss this quarter. The company is betting in the Optimus One, it’s more-stylish smaller cousin the Optimus Chic, and forthcoming Windows 7 Phone series devices to turn its fortunes around.

The Optimus series include both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a camera with face-tracking and smile detection, and the full range of Google applications (including access to the Android Market). LG says it worked hard to make the Optimus One a savvy first smartphone for consumers, and includes an exclusive LG App Advisor that recommends ten highly-rated applications to users every two weeks. Users will also be able to remotely control their phones from their PCS, using LG Air Sync to synchronize contacts, photos, and other information with a home computer or cloud-based service. The phone is also a DLNA client, so it can easily share content with DLNA-compatible devices in the home.

LG hasn’t announced pricing for the Optimus One, but plans to launch the device in Europe this October, with other EMEA and Asia-Pacific countries following thereafter. The company has not announced any intention to bring the phone to the North American market.

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