LG bets big on smartphones; to spend Rs 100 cr on mktg in 2011

The investment is a part of a Rs 350-crore marketing budget for 2011. "We entered the smartphone segment later than many of our competitors. But over the next six months, we will launch 10 more devices in the Optimus series, priced between Rs 8,000- 30,000," LG Electronics India Managing Director Moon B Shin told reporters here.

LG has set aside Rs 350 crore as marketing investment for 2011, of which more than Rs 100 crore will be for the smartphone category, he added. The company estimates the current smartphone category at about three million handsets annually.

"We have a mere two per cent share of the smartphone market in India, which sells about three million devices a month. The market is set to double next year and we are targetting a share of 12-15 per cent in 2011," Shin said.

LG today launched the Optimus One, priced at Rs 13,500. The Android operating system-based handset has 8.1-cm display, 3MP camera and expandable memory upto 32GB.

The company is also ramping the capacity of its manufacturing unit in Pune, but it will not manufacture the smartphones in India yet. "We are importing the smartphones from Korea. We will have to wait and see the sales before we take the decision of manufacturing smartphones here. We will invest about USD 4-5 million for the expansion," he said.

LG's Pune facility has a capacity to manufacture eight million handsets a year, which will be increased to 15 million by next year.

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