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Sunday, February 20, 2005

LG - Soaring Ambitions In The Mobile Handset Market

We recently covered about Glittering Samsung wherein we also covered Chinese enterprises are neither globally competitive nor technically superior and extended our coverage with another article titled Consumer electronics : china way behind.we also covered recent economist artile on Samsung saying it been a remarkable year for Samsung Electronics. Samsung was one of the stars at the giant consumer-electronics show in Las Vegas,concluded a few weeks back, where it unveiled a glittering array of new products. Among them was a notable first: a mobile phone that uses voice-recognition technology to convert speech into text messages, offering respite to people who find typing messages on their mobile's tiny keyboard frustrating.We also covered Businessweek's coverage on LG, another rising korean star. We also wrote threin,South Korean story itself is very inspiring. Like most other modern cities in Asia, I had been to Seoul and Busan several times and only find the Koreans becoming more and more competitive - at the moment the Korean economy is a little dull, but shall pick up shortly. For those who think that the chinese would dominate all sorts of manufaturing, my answer is a BIG NO..Korean enteprises amidst others shall be the key players that china should be wary off.
Park Mun Hwa is president and chief executive of Mobile Communications, a division of LG Electronics, in Seoul talks about LG’s global ambitions in mobile handset markets.Often compared to Samsung, its bigger rival, LG has already come on strong outside of Asia in the sales of advanced, third-generation handsets. Mr.park provides his perspective on growth( Via IHT):
On competition with 3G vendors: In both 2G and 3G, the product comes first. The main reason our company has sold a lot of 3G handsets in Europe is because of our technology leadership: Our longer battery life and the handsets' small size. We will carry the full line of 3G this year as well, entry-level phones to high-end products, to target all of our customers, from the small end-user to the business customer.

On how LG shall become No.3 globally next: LG has already achieved global No.1 status in CDMA phones [the dominant standard in the United States]. In GSM phones [predominant in Europe and Asia], we entered the market only in 2001, relatively late compared to our competitors. LG Electronics has the core competency to make a great business in handsets.LG has already made business for many years in a broad range of multimedia products, including LED, LCD, OLED, based on our electronics business
Mr.Park outlines three strategies that LG telecom would pursue:

- LG would definitely attain product leadership first. That means LG is going to develop new models including multimedia functions: 3G phones, game phones, navigation phones, DMB radio phones, music phones, camera phones.
- The second strategy is to satisfy our customers, the carriers, with customization and country adaptation in the local market. LG has established its overseas R&D laboratory in France in October 2004. The target is 150 engineers this year from the local work force because they know the local requirements.
- The third strategy is to strengthen our operational excellence.LG recently combined our two separate manufacturing facilities in Korea into one to add some factory automation and lower the cost. LG can make a jump up based on that because of supply chain management and quality control. Every available sign indiactes that LG shall get stronger in the mobile handset market.

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