South Korean phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are expected to unveil 5G smartphone models concurrently during the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain in February 2019 to premier the hardware technology of the next-gen mobile infrastructure that went into commercial service for the first time in the world earlier this month.
According to industry sources on Sunday, LG Electronics will release its 5G debut phone timed with the initiation of 5G telecommunications services by Korean carriers in March. Korean companies launched restricted 5G services in December.
LG Electronics had not specify its launch timing for 5G phones and only said it would be the first half of next year in the U.S. and Korea, while Samsung Electronics has been prepping to launch a 5G model of its Galaxy S10 in March. LG Electronics is said to have completed talks with Qualcomm, a partner in the supply of 5G chipsets and modems, to ready a 5G model by March.
2018 Mobile World Congress (MWC)
LG Electronics’ first 5G smartphone may be a follow-up model of the G7 ThinQ, the company’s flagship phone for the first half of this year. It is still uncertain whether LG Electronics’ first 5G phone would be ‘G8 ThinQ’ because the company is streamlining its lineup by replacing its mobile business head recently and seeking a brand integration for the G Series in the first half and the V Series for the second half.
The release of 5G phones would be an important opportunity for LG Electronics to sharpen its edge in the smartphone business and improve earnings performance.
Earlier, global market research agency Strategy Analytics (SA) forecast it would be difficult for LG Electronics to maintain its current market share in the 5G smartphone market.
By Lee Yong-ik and Minu Kim
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