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LG To Boost Smartphone Share, Marketing

4/04/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

ORLANDO, FLA. — LG Mobile Phones plans
to boost the smartphone
share of its global and U.S.
unit cellphone shipments
and will increase its marketing
effort, U.S. marketing
VP Tim O’Brien told TWICE
during the CTIA convention.

LG plans to increase shipments
by 20 percent in 2011,
from less than 10 percent in
2010, O’Brien said.

The effort will boost LG’s
smartphone dollar volume to
anywhere from 35 percent to 40 percent of the
company’s total cellphone volume, he said.

As part of the smartphone drive, the company
looks forward to offering more “superphones”
in 2011 as well as more Android and Windows
Phone 7 smartphones. The product plans include
an expanded selection of Optimus series
smartphones. In the U.S., the Optimus series
will represent LG’s entry-tier smartphones, all
designed to encourage people to step up from
feature phones without paying more than $100,
O’Brien said.

Also to boost U.S. smartphone sales, the company
will redirect LG Mobile Phones’ entire U.S.
consumer advertising budget to promote premium
superphone smartphones and tablets, O’Brien
said. To accelerate sales of entry-tier smart-phones, which carry the Optimus sub-brand, the company
will improve its in-store merchandising programs
to tap consumers stepping up from LG feature phones.
The company is focusing on in-store merchandising to
boost its entry-level smartphone sales because featurephone
owners “want to learn in-store,” while potential
superphone purchasers do much of their research online,
he said.

As part of the in-store effort, LG is expanding its
retail support team, whose members train retail salespeople
but also join store salespeople on the sales
floor, he said.

Other efforts designed to boost LG’s smartphone
sales include an expanded number of LG-dedicated
store-within-a-store displays, the first of which
launched last year and now number 500. Most have
been placed in indirect stores to date.

The store-within-a-store displays consist of wall
displays and freestanding towers with active phones
and flat-screen TVs that play SD-card-stored promotional
videos. The displays deliver interactive capabilities
when active smartphones are attached to the displays,
he added.Pressing the 3D camera button on
a connected smartphone, for example, will launch an
explanation of 3D technology on the display, he said.

The company’s consumer advertising program,
which will focus exclusively on superphones, will be
directed mostly to TV ads but will include web advertising
to let consumers see the “full experience,”
O’Brien said. For that reason, the ad plans exclude
print advertising.

O’Brien defined superphones as offering displays
of at least 4 inches, a processor of at least 1GHz,
and lots of embedded memory. For LG, superphones
will also deliver such enhanced features as bright displays
usable in direct sunlight, 3D displays, and the
like.

Superphone ads will go live to support carriers’
launches. The ads will include ads for the G2x for the
T-Mobile network and the Revolution for Verizon’s 4G
LTE network.

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