LG plans to launch high-end smartphone to surpass G4

The G4 isn't out yet, but the company is working on a second phone for release this year, says a report. LG aims to "narrow the gap" with market leaders Apple and Samsung.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

LG is aiming to out G its G series with a new high-end smartphone. Josh Miller/CNET

LG is aiming to battle other smartphone vendors with a new high-end phone later this year.

The Korean handset maker has been known for its flagship G lineup of phones, with the G3 currently out in the market and the G4 expected to launch in April.

But the company is cooking up something to out G the G series, the Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday.

"We are planning to release a product that stands above the G series," Cho Jun-ho, head of LG's mobile business, said at Mobile World Congress this week. "It will be launched during the second half of this year."

Cho didn't reveal any details about the new high-end phone but it will have to offer some impressive specs to top the G3 and G4. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor, the G3 offers a 5.5-inch screen packed with a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution, a 13-megapixel rear camera with laser auto focus, a removable battery and a microSD card slot.

Little is known for sure about the G4 at this point. But the new G will be "radically different" from the G3, Cho told reporters at MWC, according to the Korea Times. The G4 will sport a major change in its surface design and improve the overall user experience. Its body will be built using a mixture of different metals.

Beyond its G lineup, LG needs a phone that can shake up the market and entice more buyers.

The company faces competition from Apple and Samsung, and also from Chinese vendors, which have been stealing market share from their larger rivals. For all of 2014, LG took fifth place among all global smartphone vendors behind Lenovo and Huawei, according to a report released this week by Gartner. But looking at just the fourth quarter of 2014, LG doesn't even appear on Gartner's list of the top five vendors, as China-based Huawei and Xiaomi snapped up the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

LG said it wants to achieve a solid third place in the global smartphone arena in terms of sales, according to the Yonhap report.

"We aim to have our smartphone sales grow 20 percent on-year in 2015," Cho said. "If the popularity of the G2 and the G3 continues through the G4, we expect to grab a meaningful third-place presence."

That may be doable if the G4 can wow the crowds by topping its predecessor. Thanks to demand for the G3, LG captured its highest-ever market share in North America during last year's third quarter. Beyond the G4 and the as yet unnamed high-end phone, the company plans to revamp the rest of its lineup.

LG said it will reorder its low-end L and F series into four key brands, the report said. It also plans to outfit its mobile lineup with an "Internet of Things" flair, meaning that its devices will be able to identify themselves over the Internet to more easily swap data with other devices.

LG did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.