Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LG to Manufacture Smartphones at Pune Unit

LG Mobiles

LG Mobile phones is set to expand its smartphone market as it plans to start manufacturing them from its Pune unit.

The unit, with its present production capacity of eight million handsets, mainly entry level and features phones, will ramp up production to 10 million units by 2011-end.

“We are looking to grow our share in smartphone market this year and will even launch 10 smartphone models. Manufacturing them in India will be critical in getting them to market faster and managing the costs,” said Vishal Chopra, Business Head, Mobile Communication, LG Electronics.

LG Mobiles is targeting a turnover of Rs 3,000 crore in 2011 and sell about 450,000 smartphone units in India this year. It is betting big on its smartphone brand with the introduction of Optimus, with price ranging between Rs 9,000 and Rs 35,000. Next month, it is expected to launch a 3D smartphone.

“The Optimus 3D phone will have two cameras that will allow users to create their own 3D content. The phone also does not require any special glasses to view the content,” he said. On Monday, the South Korea-based company announced the launch of the first Dual Core Processor smartphone, LG Optimus 2X in India, which is priced at Rs 30,000. Chopra is also in talks with Vodafone, Reliance and Bharti Airtel to offer cheap data plans with the LG smartphone range.

LG Mobiles has earmarked Rs 250 crore to strengthen the infrastructure for retail development and marketing activities. “We realise that Android as a smartphone platform is catching on in India. But LG will launch its smartphones in 650 stores in metros and Tier 1 cities as this is where we believe our target market resides,” said Chopra. The company is not looking to widen its smartphone base beyond the metros, as of now.

Meanwhile, LG also plans to ramp up a 20-member team that will look to develop software and mobile applications for its smartphones and feature phones. “While we have a global R&D team that works on innovation, we plan to focus on adding value on our smartphones. This team will work exclusively to create apps that are relevant to the Indian users,” he said.

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