Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 3, 2008
Executives at South Korea’s LG Electronics try to avoid expressing their ambition to outsell Motorola and Sony Ericsson and become the world’s third largest maker of mobile phones. Yet Skott Ahn, head of LG’s handset business, suggested on Dec.3 his company would gun for the No. 3 spot next year. In a ceremony marking the launch of a new touch screen phone sporting the “Franklin Planner” time management system, Ahn told reporters that he expected his company to increase its global market share to just over 10% in 2009 from just below 8% now.
Such an increase will likely allow LG to edge past Motorola and Sony Ericsson, given difficulties facing the American and Japanese-Swede rivals. Ahn acknowledges that the current economic downturn will force LG to slow down its pace of growth “conspicuously” but says his company could eke out a slight growth next year despite uncertainties over the overall 2009 sales volume in the global handset market. In the past four years, LG reported an average annual growth of around 30%.
Ahn says LG is poised to take advantage of its improving brand image which will help expand its global presence. LG, which has so far been focusing on selling high-end phones in the U.S. and other advanced economies, will begin marketing lower-priced handsets aggressively next year in such emerging markets as China, India, Russia and Brazil. For mature markets, it plans to roll out more than 10 smart phones in 2009.
In the July-September quarter, Nokia maintained its clear dominance in the handset market with a 38.2% share. Runner-up Samsung held 17.1% of the global mobile phone market, with Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG holding around an 8% share each. LG ranked No. 5 with a 7.8% share against No. 3 Sony Ericsson’s 8.1%.