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Wed 15 Oct 2008 12:00 AM

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LG aims to double market share in Middle East

Korean manufacturer sets sights on 10% of the mobile market

LG will double its share of the mobile phone market in the Middle East by next year, according to the handset manufacturer’s regional CEO.

Speaking at the launch of LG’s latest device today, Middle East and Africa CEO Ki Wan Kim said that he would increase the Korean manufacturer’s share of the market “from 5% to 10%” over the next twelve months.

During the second quarter of this year, LG’s global market share was 8.8%, up from 6.8% during the same period last year, according to figures from research firm Gartner.

LG will hope that sales of its latest device, the KF510, which was launched with the backing of “brand ambassador” and Lebanese singer Wael Kfoury, will help boost sales further.

The handset will go on sale in the UAE for 840AED ($228), and LG boss Kim said he expects to sell one million of the handsets inside six months. But he conceded that the price could be a barrier to sales in Africa.

Kim said the majority of sales will be made in the Middle East, as the average handset price in Africa is “very low, very low”.

“More than 70% of consumers of Africa are looking for a very low tier. But our vision, our strategy is much different from that, so we are targeting mainly medium and higher users, who appreciate something unique, those seeking some design or trend.”

Part of LG’s plan to drive sales is to increase its presence in the region. “Every year we are increasing our manpower and our organisation by more than 10%, and we expect that to continue, especially in Africa, where there are many emerging countries,” Kim said.

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