While many smartphone makers are attempting to diversify their software platforms and create Google Android-based phones, LG Electronics, one of the largest makers of cellphones, has decided to stick to Microsoft Windows operating systems for the coming years in order to create the most tailored devices. The company may try to play with Android or other platforms, but Windows will be the primary operating system for LG Electronics.
As part of the pact with Microsoft, LG will not only make Windows its primary operating system for its smartphones, but will increase both the number of Windows phones in its portfolio and the total volume of Windows phones it distributes. This will create a tenfold increase in the volume of Windows phones available from LG in 2009 and bring up to 26 new Windows phones to market in 2012 alone. Overall, the agreement can result in more than 50 new LG Windows Mobile-based smartphones.
Microsoft and LG need each other to improve market shares of their mobile products. According to Gartner, LG Electronics was not in the top 5 list of smartphone makers, meanwhile Microsoft Windows Mobile software platform was installed in about 11.1% of phones that reached the market, well below Symbian or Research in Motion and even slightly below Apple's OS X that powers Apple iPhone.
The agreement also includes a commitment by both companies to create joint teams for research and development, to focus on creating phones with powerful features built on tight integration between hardware and software. It also details joint marketing efforts to expand the reach of these phones at a range of prices in markets across the globe.
This agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by LG and Microsoft on November 3, 2008, which put in place strategic collaboration on the converged mobile device business.
“New LG phones running Windows will take advantage of the excitement in this dynamically growing market. The Windows platform brings flexible and customer-friendly software that ties into the Web and the PC, giving our phones a wide range of new capabilities to address an increasing number of segments and markets,” said Yong Nam, vice chairman and chief executive officer, LG Electronics.
Complementing the expanded alliance, LG also announced the LG-GM730, which incorporates LG’s signature style with a slim (11.9 mm) and seamless profile and rounded edges. The Windows® phone is user-friendly with features like one-click e-mail setup and easy finger navigation while browsing with the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile. Available in the first half of 2009 on Windows Mobile 6.1, LG will add Windows Mobile 6.5 version to their portfolio in the second half of 2009.