LG targeting 40% smartphone growth

BANGKOK - South Korean tech giant LG aims to expand its smartphone business by at least 40 per cent this year.

LG Electronics (Thailand)'s Product Group head of Mobile Communications, Anuphun Bhakdisuparit, said LG's mobile business strategy for 2014 is to focus on innovation leadership to create the ultimate user experience and further strengthen its innovation leadership in the global smartphone industry.

"The company aims to grow its smartphone business at least 40 per cent this year," he said.

LG started to become active in smartphone marketing in Thailand last year with its flagship product, LG G2, targeting the high-end market. The company has been successful in this market segment globally, and in the Thai market as well.

Anuphun said the company's 2014 strategy, therefore, is to keep on focusing on the high-end market segment with the launch of its latest device, the LG G Flex, which is the world's first curved-screen smart phone.

"We see constant growth in the smartphone segment, especially in premium smart phones. This year, LG will continue to develop innovations that will enhance the lives of consumers, while releasing phone functions that truly fulfil the needs of users.

"The first model is the LG G Flex, which comes with a 6-inch HD POLED curved screen with ergonomic design that offers perfect the viewing and hearing experience," said the Product Group head.

He added that this year, LG would launch smartphones to cover all levels of the market - that is, the mid-tier and low-end segments, as well as the high end.

In the first half, it plans to launch five or six models across the high-end and mid-tier markets. Then, in the second half, it will introduce a number of low-end smart phones to catch up with the huge number of potential users migrating from 2G to 3G service.

"Consumers can request an LG G Flex at the 'Thailand Mobile Expo', and by the end of this month they will get the product," said Anuphun.

LG tablet on the cards

The company is also considering bringing an LG tablet onto the market.

"We need to have a tablet in the market, as well. It is a different market segment from smart phones, and not a duplication," he said.

He added that the smartphone market in Thailand this year remained active and aggressive - and was continuing to grow.

LG will invest in marketing - both above-the-line and below-the-line activities - to support its dealers throughout the country and enhance the sales of its smart phones.

"We inject marketing budgets at the same level as our targeted sales growth, which is around 40 per cent. Our marketing budget is spent by targeting each customer group. Our main emphasis is on below-the-line marketing," said Anupun.

He added that, moreover, LG plans to increase the number of Thai dealers in order to help distribute its smart phones to a wider number of consumers.

"We are confident that our strategy to create the ultimate user experience for Thai consumers, which we are driven to carry on this year, combined with LG's global direction to enhance the marketing and commercial aspects of the premium smartphone segment, will strengthen LG's position as a top-of-mind brand for consumers in Thailand and around the globe," said Anuphun.