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1/9/2008
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LG Launches $13 Billion North American Product Push

The company said it expects to roll out more multimedia cell phones, iPhone look-alikes, and new plasma and LCD TVs with improved designs.

LG Electronics set an ambitious sales goal for this year, announcing at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday that it plans to sell $13 billion worth of products in North America.

"We plan to achieve this by introducing high-end products that rely on advanced features and design, rather than low prices, to attract customers," said Michael Ahn, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America, at CES.

LG's North American sales for 2007 were $11.5 billion, for the first time beating the $10 billion mark, according to LG.

This year, LG will step up efforts in its home entertainment and home appliance businesses. The company, for example, will roll out new plasma and LCD TVs with improved designs. It hopes to become one of the top three manufacturers of flat panel TVs in North America by increasing capacity at its production plant in Mexico.

On the mobile phone front, LG wants to become the second largest phone maker in North America. But it will first have to knock Samsung out of its current No. 2 spot. LG captured 15.6% of the North American mobile phone market in the third quarter of last year, while Samsung had 20% of the market, according to research firm Gartner. Motorola was the No. 1 mobile phone maker with a 31.3% market share.

LG said it saw three newly-launched phone models do well last year. They are the Venus, the Muziq, and the Voyager.

The Venus is Verizon Wireless' music-centric phone with two dual-front screens. The lower screen has touch input with vibration feedback for simpler access to the phone's features. It comes with a music player, a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder, and stereo Bluetooth.

The Voyager, also offered exclusively by Verizon Wireless, has a large touch screen that slides open to reveal a full keypad. The iPhone look-alike comes with comes with multimedia capabilities, including an HTML Web browser; Verizon Wireless' V Cast mobile TV, video, and music service; and the ability to play MP3, WMA, and unprotected AAC files.

The Muziq is Sprint's music clamshell phone that provides access to the carrier's multimedia content. It's first Sprint phone to include a microSD card slot capable of handling 4GB of memory, which translates into about 4,000 songs that can be stored on the phone.

This year, LG will introduce more phones with music and multimedia capabilities, which LG said, are desired by U.S. consumers. More of its phones will also come with advanced 3G technology for faster access to multimedia applications on carriers' high-speed wireless networks.

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