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LG Electronics rolls out mid-tier smartphone to extend Taiwan portfolio

TAIPEI -- LG Electronics Inc., the world's fourth-largest smartphone maker, launched a downsized version of its G2 flagship model on Monday to extend its product portfolio in Taiwan to mid-tier 4G LTE smartphones.

The G2 mini runs a 4.7-inch q-HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel main camera and the “Knock Code” feature that allows owners to power on and unlock their phones in one step by tapping their screens.

The G2 mini will be available on May 1 exclusively through Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電信), Taiwan's largest mobile service operator, at NT$8,990 (US$298) for a contract-free model.

The South Korean company plans to release another two 4G phones in the second half of the year that will cost between NT$9,000 and NT$12,000 to compete with such models as the HTC Desire 816 and Desire 610, said Jackie Kim, director of mobile business at LG's Taiwan branch.

“It's good to see more mid-tier models enter the 4G LTE market because it will help grow the size of the market,” Kim said at the product launch conference.

With the launches of high-end and mid-tier 4G phones, LG aims to grab an 8-percent share of Taiwan's smartphone sales revenue by year-end, nearly double its roughly 4-percent share in March, he said.

LG's smartphone volume is expected to account for 5 percent of Taiwan's total smartphone sales this year, up from 3.3 percent in March, Kim said.

Smartphone shipments in Taiwan totaled 7.55 million units in 2013, up 26 percent from 6 million units shipped in 2012, according to data from research firm IDC.

Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea held a dominant 28 percent share of the market last year, followed by HTC Corp. of Taiwan in second with a 21 percent share and Sony Mobile Communication of Japan in third with 16 percent.

LG was ranked fifth with only a 3 percent share, trailing far behind fourth-place Apple Inc., which had a 13 percent market share, IDC said.

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