What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time LG was at best considered just another Android manufacturer about to announce their upcoming line of phones. At last year’s Mobile World Congress, the company was announcing the L series (Optimus L3, L5, L7, and L9) which went from low end to upper mid range, and in many people’s eyes left a lot to be desired.
It was in the second half of 2012 however, when LG really really started making noise. That was when we seen the Optimus G, and through a collaboration with Google we were introduced to the Nexus 4. While these two devices were pretty much separated at birth it was the Nexus name that finally gave LG some cache’. There’s no doubt that some of the people who couldn’t get in on the Nexus 4 at launch turned to the Optimus G as a second option.
These two phones, along with the Optimus VU 2 gave LG a very strong fourth quarter in 2012. The company reported a “7 percent unit increase quarter-on-quarter in mobile handset shipments to 15.4 million with more than half of the units coming from smartphones. The increased revenues were the highest of the year, growing 15 percent to KRW 2.81 trillion (USD 2.58 billion) quarter-on-quarter.”
That brings us to today’s teaser on LG’s Facebook page that shows us what appears to be a white box with a red bow wrapped around it bearing the words “New series will be unveiled”. Underneath the picture is the caption “See what surprise LG has in store for you this time, with an unexpected distinction.”
They didn’t give us much else and it’s always fun to speculate, but here’s what we do know. During last month’s CES, when no handsets were announced, James Fishler, senior VP of marketing stated “At MWC next month, and throughout the year, we’ll be bringing more tier one handsets, in various screen sizes.”
Odds are that we won’t be seeing the follow up Optimus G2 handset at MWC, but what we could be in store for is the rumored F series. The F series was hinted at during LG’s earnings statement on January 30th. Although not much is known about this new line, the statement says that it will be launched in addition to their L series and not replacing it.
One last LG MWC rumor to add is that the company is planning to bring their own new “phablet” out for the world to see. This device is rumored to have a 5.5 inch full HD screen and will be looking to take some sales away from rival Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. The phone will also have NFC prominently featured because LG is really making a push for their connected home appliances and televisions. We should see a March launch of this device which will be just days after the formal announcement so as to strike while the iron is hot.
So what do you think? Has the Nexus 4 changed your opinion of LG? Or are they still a second tier manufacturer in your eyes?