updated 09:45 am EDT, Wed July 27, 2011
LG spring results start mobile turnaround
LG showed some signs of turning around its long-struggling phone business with spring results that saw it climb back up. The company still took a $49.8 million loss on its mobile group but had cut that nearly in half from the winter. Its new emphasis on smartphones saw the section's revenue climb back up by 11.6 percent to $3 billion.
Much of the boost came from the company finally shipping its first true high-end Android devices, including the T-Mobile G2X and its international Optimus 2X equivalent. Although it would only have counted for the last two weeks of the spring, the Optimus 3D may have also played a role. Most LG smartphones of the past year have been entry to mid-range devices that have struggled to compete against both fellow Android makers like HTC and Samsung but, more recently, against cheaper iPhones.
LG might not necessarily reverse the decline of basic phone sales but has improved its stance from even several months ago, when its electronics division head left. The Korean firm had late start to smartphones as it only got involved in earnest in 2008 and made the mistake of investing too much in Windows Mobile at a time when it was on the rapid decline. Samsung, HTC, and many others were refocusing on Android and have both had faster growth and better profit for much of the same time.
The improved phone business helped LG come back into profit, with a $145.8 million income that was 21 percent higher than just in the last quarter. The profit, which came on a boost to $13.3 billion in revenue, was helped also by a 10 percent quarter-to-quarter spike in cash from TVs.
For the summer, the company was expecting to see "modest" growth through new launches, particularly in 3D. US sales might get helped by the Thrill 4G, an Optimus 3D version reaching AT&T roughly in August for an official $100.