By Kim Yoo-chul
LG Electronics is aiming to sell 75 million handsets this year, up sharply from this year's estimated 55 million, according to the firm's local partner, Tuesday.
Of the 75 million, the company said that around 45 million will be profitable smartphones and the remaining 30 million will be budget and feature phones.
LG has fallen to a second-tier smartphone manufacturer as Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the market. LG is also facing challenges from rising budget Chinese smartphone makers such as ZTE and Huawei.
''We will release quite a number of new Optimus devices this year and LG also has some new smartphones in the works, that will run Microsoft's Windows Phone 8,'' a senior executive from one of LG's local partners said by telephone.
LG plans to reveal a 5.5-inch full-high definition (HD) flagship smartphone at February's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the Spanish city of Barcelona.
''This year won't be as bullish for LG as last year. But LG's Optimus G and Nexus 4 impressed some major carriers and consumers. Because our budget Optimus smartphones are receiving lots of attention, we are confident to get our phone business on a rising track this year,'' said the executive.
For nine months of last year, LG shipped 41.2 million handsets and it's expected the company shipped some 15 million during the October-December period. LG will report its fourth quarter earnings on January 30 at its headquarters in Yeouido, according to the company.
''As far as I know, LG Electronics plans to sell at least 10 million smartphones per quarter,'' said the executive.
Company spokesman G.W. Kim declined to confirm this.