LG releases Android Optimus with aggressive price strategy

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Although LG is promoting its new Android handset, the Optimus, as being “stylish, savvy and social.” the true unique sales proposition of this device is its price point: a very aggressive sub-$500.

At launch party and dealer event for the Optimus in Sydney last night, LG senior category marketing manager, mobile communications, Brad Reed, talked up the networking, media and browsing capabilities of launch Optimus model, but he also conceded the true appeal of this new device is that it runs off Android, the hippest mobile operating system on the market, and that it is one of the cheapest handsets on the market.

Because mobile phones, especially smartphones, are now app-dependent for consumer satisfaction, the manufacturing of the phone has become secondary to the operating system in importance. Reed explained to LG’s mobile phone dealers that research has shown a move away from Symbian, Nokia’s once-dominant OS, with consumers moving to Apple’s iPhone OS and Android’s multi-manufacturer platform.

With brands such as HTC and Samsung targeting the higher ends of the market with their Desire and Galaxy models, LG will look to corner the more niggardly sector, with a ‘targeted’ RRP of $499 at launch. An added incentive at launch for the Optimus is that it will be available through all three major telcos (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone), rather than through only one exclusive launch partner, as has been the emerging trend.

The Optimus is a touchscreen smartphone with a 3-inch screen, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.5-millimetre headphone jack and a “long-lasting” 1500mAh battery. Included in the package is a 2GB microSD card, with memory expandable up to 32GB. The Optimus is available in white, pink, black and silver.

By the end of 2010, Reed said LG will have expanded its Optimus brand to include more smartphones and an Android-based tablet PC.

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