LG: UK phone market is most tricky in the world

lg optimus g pro
The Optimus G Pro is the great new hope for LG Mobile

LG has pledged to improve its devices after admitting to a sluggish start to the smartphone era.

In a briefing with TechRadar in Seoul today, Won Kim, LG's head of mobile communications in Europe, confessed that the smartphone market is currently a two horse race with bitter rivals Samsung and Apple dominating heavily.

"Sadly the mobile market is a two horse race at the moment with Samsung and Apple," he said.

"It's not easy for us to shake the lands. It's getting more and more difficult. Never the less we have a strong footprint led by our new smartphones and on top of that we have the Nexus 4 and the Optimus G as a flagship phone with best in class hardware features and most up to date software."

"Our neighbour is dominating"

Kim says the UK is the most tricky phone market in the world, with Samsung and Apple picking up more market share than anyone else. However, he pointed to some other European countries where LG is already a strong number 3 and pledged to take that position in the UK – something Sony is also striving hard to achieve.

"LG has been a bit sluggish in terms of rollout of our next gen mobiles in Europe but nevertheless our footprint in 3G smartphone has improved in the last year and we're reaching about 10 per cent market share in Europe now and we have a number 3 brands in European countries like Spain, Italy and Poland. At the same time we have good customer relationships and recognition in Northern countries.

"We are very weak in the UK market but it's time for us to challenge this most difficult market this year and we must do something in order to establish a footprint in the UK. But with the Optimus G and Optimus G Pro we feel we have the products to do this. Sooner or later we will be the number 3 brand in the UK as well."

Kim compared the success of the English Premier League and its effect on player prices to the way companies like Nokia, Samsung and HTC choose the UK to launch their new phones on the world - making it a unique marketplace.

"It makes the UK especially tricky to approach," he said, before promising the launch of the LG Optimus G2 later in 2013.

"Optimus G2 is coming in Q3 2013"

Kim In Kyung, head of 4G LTE research at LG, added that LG is defrentiating itself from competitors like HTC and Sony by making "better products".

"We are different from brands like Sony or HTC. So we are the true competitor of our neighbour, so our strategy is to never forget that phones are connected devices – all LG devices should connect and talk to each other. They are copying our features such as putting embedded IR in a phone to make it a remote control.

"The Optimus G Pro is just better than any other phone and people will see this when they use it."

Kim and Kyung both pledged that the forthcoming LG Optimus G2 will be "something special, something unique, something... you will want to buy." But they also mentioned that the naming strategy remains up in the air, so it's "possible the phone will be called something else". Our bet's are still on Optimus G2 though.

Will you be buying an LG mobile phone this year? Let us know in the comments or tweet @techradar

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.