LG clocks 5M LTE smartphone sales

South Korean phonemaker says 1 million LTE smartphones sold in July alone, and aims to release more such handsets to leverage growing worldwide demand.

LG Electronics said on Wednesday it had sold 5 million LTE smartphones, including 1 million in just the month of July, as it looks to capitalize on the move toward the next generation of wireless mobile technology. 

In a statement released today, the South Korean electronics giant said since it released its first LTE smartphone-- the RevolutionTM--in the United States last May via Verizon Wireless, it had sold 5 million of such mobile handsets.

The company has focused on key markets with LTE capabilities as it expands its reach, and more than 10 LTE smartphones from LG are now available in these markets including South Korea , U.S., Japan, and select markets in Europe and Asia.

The Optimus LTE handset is the most popular smartphone so far with 2 million in sales, but the Optimus Vu: has shown fast growth be selling over 500,000 units since March, it noted. The Optimus LTE II was also released in May this year, which saw the fastest sales "among all LTE smartphones, by reaching half a million units in the first 70 days, LG claimed.

"Sales of global LTE smartphones are expected to increase 10-fold this year from last year. With that in mind, we are planning to introduce an even more impressive LTE line-up in the next several months [which will be] second to none," said Park Jong-seok, president and CEO of LG Mobile Communications, in the statement.

LG's bullishness over its LTE smartphones business runs counter to mobile phone figures released by Gartner. The research firm said on Tuesday that worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached 419 million units in the second quarter of 2012, representing a 2.3 percent decline from the second quarter of 2011.

Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, added yesterday : "For 2012, the overall market is looking weaker than what I had actually forecast at the start of the year." The research firm had earlier predicted mobile phone sales to reach approximately 1.9 billion units this year.