LG plans to introduce new 4G phone in China

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LG plans to introduce new 4G phone in China

LG Electronics said yesterday it will start selling a long-term evolution smartphone in China via China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile operator with more than 740 million subscribers. It will be the first Korean 4G phone sold in China.

Sales of the LG-E985T model, which start this week, accelerate LG’s efforts to turn around its performance in the world’s most populous country.

LG, which is hoping the recover the No. 3 position it lost to Chinese companies Huawei and Lenovo in the global smartphone market last year, had less than a 1 percent market share in China in 2013.

4G phones are a fledging but highly lucrative segment in China. Park Jong-seok, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, told reporters during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona early this week that the company will trim its lineup of low-end phones in China and focus on premium 4G phones.

China uses the time-division duplex LTE standard, not the frequency-division duplex LTE standard used in Korea, the United States and Japan.

China only launched TDD-LTE services last December, but, according to Strategy Analytics, as many as 135 million LTE phones will be sold in China this year - about 34 percent of all mobile phones to be sold in the country this year.

Strategy Analytics predicted that the proportion of LTE phones to be sold in China will surpass 50 percent next year, reaching 80 percent by 2018.

“LG is proud to be a participant in the introduction of the 4G era in the world’s largest mobile market with a partner such as China Mobile,” said Park in a statement released yesterday. “We look forward to further strengthening our presence in China with competitive TDD-LTE devices such as the LG-E985T.”

The 5.5-inch LG-E985T, the brand name of the TDD-LTE-enabled LG Optimus G Pro, is loaded with a 1.7 gigahertz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, a 2,940 milliampere hour battery and a 13 megapixel camera. It supports both TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE modes so it can also be used outside of China, the company said.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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