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LG extends smartphones

Wants sales to grow

LG aims to broaden its range of smartphones so sales this year grow at double the rate of the market. The outfit wants to retake the position of world's third-biggest maker after been given a kicking by Huawei Technologies. Mobile division president Park Jong-seok said the company also plans to sell a smartwatch capable of connecting with rivals' phones.

LG shipped a record 47.7 million smartphones last year, 81 percent more than a year earlier. But its mobile unit needs more growth to return to profit, after spending heavily on marketing to narrow the gap with leader Samsung.

However since the market is already saturated in the West, the company aims to increase sales through more models appealing to a wider consumer group, with the Barcelona launch of the G2 Mini - a lower-priced version of the flagship G2 - coming just weeks after unveiling a larger-screen G Pro2.

Park also said LG plans to continue reducing its reliance on local retailers in China where competitors include Lenovo, whose $2.9 billion offer for Google Motorola handset division could see it leapfrog LG to global No.3 from No.5.

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