South Korea's LG Electronics Co. Ltd. said it won the top spot for third-generation (3G) mobile phones sold in Europe in the first quarter.
Analysts said maintaining that position may prove tough as market leader Nokia Corp. and other vendors have moved to address their relative 3G weakness with several new models.
LG Electronics said that research firm IDC estimates the company sold 1 million 3G Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, or WCDMA, phones in the quarter for a 25.5 -percent market share in Europe.
The company said an estimated 8.1 million WCDMA phones were sold in Europe last year, with the figure expected to reach 22 million units in 2005.
"LG Electronics last year supplied approximately 4 million units globally, becoming the frontrunner in the WCDMA mobile phone sector, and we have since been continuing to grow," said Park Mun-hwa, president of LG Electronics Mobile Communication Company.
He added the company would leverage its strength in the WCDMA market to gain share in the larger Global System for Mobile communications market.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs forecast a total of 227 million mobile phones will be sold in Europe in 2005.
Europe's top mobile phone vendor, Nokia Corp., was late to market with attractive WCDMA phones, but has recently launched several models and started shipping its latest model, the 6680, in April.
LG Electronics said it plans to supply more than 20 WCDMA handset models to the global market this year.
Both Nokia and LG Electronics forecast the 2005 global market for WCDMA phones at 50 million units. (Dow Jones)
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