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LG Electronics to launch budget smartphones in more countries

SEOUL: LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday its budget smartphones will be launched in more countries this month, hoping that the latest handsets can help its struggling mobile business.

The South Korean tech firm said three K series smartphone models — K61, K51S and K41S — will be available in at least six more countries, including Peru, Panama and Costa Rica, this month. The company added that its K series smartphones will be introduced in more countries in the third quarter of the year.

The new K series, which made its debut in May, is currently sold in 15 countries, including Mexico and Canada. In South Korea, the K61, sold as the Q61 here, was launched with a price tag of 369,000 won (US$310).

The new K series smartphones come with four rear cameras, a 6.5-inch display and 4,000mAh battery.

LG said it is also trying to boost sales of its Stylo 6 budget smartphone that was launched in North America in May.

The phone, featuring a 6.8-inch display, triple rear camera and built-in stylus pen, is priced around $200.

LG hopes the expansion of its budget smartphones can help its mobile business escape from a long slump.

In its first quarter earnings report, LG said its mobile communications unit racked up only 998.6 billion won in sales in the January-March period, down 33.9 percent from a year earlier, while its operating loss widened from 203.5 billion won to 237.8 billion won over the cited period, extending its losses to 20 consecutive quarters.

LG’s mobile business is widely expected to report an operating loss in the second quarter of the year, analysts here said.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.