LG now considers the iPhone one of its largest competitors in the smartphone space, CEO Yong Nam said in a Washington presentation today. He dismisses both market leader Nokia and Sony Ericsson as rivals and instead says most of LG's energy is now focused on beating Apple, Palm and Research in Motion. The Korean company is now "investing heavily" in smartphones and is putting most of its focus on touchscreen devices like the Android-based Eve and multiple Windows Mobile phones.
With only a small foothold in modern smartphones, LG has struggled lately to gain share and doesn't place in the top five. It has also rested at 11 percent of the total cellphone market while its Korean neighbor Samsung has shot ahead to 21 percent. Apple is comparatively small at 2.5 percent but has been one of the quickest to grow since entering smartphones over two years ago.
Nam's declaration nonetheless sets the stage for a more direct conflict with younger challengers like Apple and is a symbolic blow against Nokia. The latter slipped to 37 percent total share and has been falling in smartphone share as well, dropping to 35 percent due primarily to users flocking either to BlackBerries for more up-to-date messaging or iPhones for apps, media and the web.