Ina Fried

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LG: Please Call It a Comeback

After a year of lost ground in the smartphone business, LG is looking to regain its footing with a string of new products.

Despite gaining early Android market share with popular and inexpensive models, the company lost its way over the past year amid strong competition from Samsung and others.

In addition to having less-than-earthshattering designs, LG was also slow to bring out models with the latest versions of Android, smartphone unit leader Ramchan Woo said in an interview.

“We admit last year we were kind of behind,” Woo told AllThingsD.

However, things are looking up, he insists. The company’s homegrown display technology, once trailing rivals, is now ahead of the curve, Woo said. Its battery life is also better than rivals, and the company is banking on new design to help its low-end and midrange phones.

“At the same time, we provide a bigger display compared to other models in same tier,” Woo said.

At the high end, the company has a quad-core phone that Woo said packs eight unique software features, though he declined to identify any of them. An update to the company’s initial 3-D phone boasts a wider viewing angle and no longer adds extra bulk.

“This year, it is as thin and light as regular smartphones,” he said. “You can do 3-D, as well. That’s the message.”

At Mobile World Congress, LG is focusing exclusively on new Android devices, after slower-than-hoped-for sales of its Windows Phones. Additional models are in the works, Woo said, though he declined to say when to expect new models.

The demand for new Windows Phones varies by operator, he said.

“Some operators, they ask (for) Windows Phone to balance Android; however, the others, they are (still) figuring out how to sell Windows,” Woo said.


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