What's in a name? Some years ago Lucky Goldstar morphed into LG Telecom and now LG Telecom has transmogrified into LG Uplus, or U+, depending on what press release you read. The company says the new brand is emblematic of the fact that, earlier this year, in merged its mobile, fixed-line and Internet divisions. Martyn Warwick reports.
The company's CEO, Lee Sang-chul, says that henceforth LG U+ will concentrate more on smartphones in general and Android-enabled handsets in particuar. Mr. Lee says he expects smartphones to account for 40 per cent of all LG U+ handset sales by the end of this year. To meet this target LG U+ is to start selling Samsung's Android-based Galaxy S smartphone immediately and "at least seven other models of smartphones by the end of the year."
LG U+ will also begin offering Long Term Evolution (LTE) services from next year, in the first instance in metropolitan areas only.
Lee says the smartphone/LTE strategy is "part of the consistent corporate move to bring more wireless-related revenue. LG U+ plans to open our Wi-Fi networks to customers who are using other telecoms services. But we need to narrow the differences before an actual implementation."
The CEO added that he expects the company's turnover to hit 10 trillion Korean Won by 2014 (that's the equivalent of US$ 8.2 billion) and has set an annual operating profit target of 1 trillion Korean Won.
LG, as it was in 2009, had sales of 8.3 Korean Won trillion and an operating profit of 710 billion Won.
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