LG notches 10M worldwide sales of LTE-enabled smartphones

The South Korean handset maker achieves the milestone even as it loses market share.

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LG Electronics announced today it has sold more than 10 million LTE-capable smartphones worldwide as the company grapples with dwindling market share.

The milestone comes a little more than six months after the company announced it had surpassed 5 million sales of LTE-enabled phones.

"Aggressive pushing forward with 4G LTE technology allows LG [to] satisfy the needs of consumers and is a huge factor in our growing success in global LTE smartphone sales," LG CEO Jong-seok Park said in statement. "Having established ourselves as a major industry player, we will continue to expand our footprint in the global LTE market with a wider range of differentiated, high quality LTE smartphones."

LG said it hopes to double its LTE smartphone market presence in 2013 as LTE smartphone shipment growth is expected to triple. Market researcher Strategy Analytics said in December that its data indicated global LTE smartphone shipments would hit 275 million this year.

The company attributed its explosive growth in the segment to its expansion this past year into markets such as the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. Recent rollouts of the LG Optimus G in more than 50 additional countries also contributed to the milestone.

As impressive as the sales figure is, LG continues to lose ground in the LTE market, according to Strategy Analytics. In the third quarter of 2012, LG's market share fell to 9 percent from 15 percent in the previous quarter. Samsung remained the market leader even though its share fell from 51 percent to 40 percent. Apple brought in 26.7 percent for second place.

The announcement comes on the heels of LG's overhaul of its Android product line at the Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, Spain. LG says it is targeting the spectrum of LTE customers with its G series for deep-pocketed early adopters, the F series with the mission of "4G LTE for everyone," the lower-end L series, and the Vu tablets.