January 14, 2010 | by Marin Perez
In what could be seen as a blow to Microsoft, LG Electronics said the Android operating system will be powering half of its smartphones this year.
The company is the third-largest handset maker in the world but it doesn’t have a huge smartphone base. The company is also gunning to overtake Samsung as the second-biggest handset maker and smartphones will play a key role in this strategy, LG said in a press release. The company will release 20 advanced devices this year with Android, Windows Mobile and Linux, and LG said “hopes are especially high for Android phones, which, with their user-friendly and open-access, are expected to make up more than half of all LG’s new smartphone releases.”
So, what kind of Android phones can we expect from LG? At CES, we saw the full-touch GT 540, and it looked like a nice, if somewhat uninspired handset. LG said it will focus on entry-level smartphones in the first half of the year before bringing out the premium ones in the second half. This means it will likely be six months before we see a “superphone” from LG, but it’s definitely another encouraging sign that Android is gaining traction.
This announcement may make some folks at Microsoft sweat because LG has been one of their major partners for Windows Mobile devices. LG hasn’t abandoned Windows Mobile by any means, but it’s clear that Android is their main priority for at least the next year. It will be fun to see if there are any changes to LG’s strategy when Microsoft unveils Windows Mobile 7 next month.