Could LG be releasing some new Windows Phone 8 hardware this year? According to the Korea Times, citing a senior executive from one of LG’s local partners, the answer is ‘yes’.
The paper reveals the tidbit under the bigger news of LGs ambitions for 2013, including the goal of selling 75 million handsets, which is no small feat even with Android seemingly doing so well.
LG famously had cold feet with Microsoft last year over the new OS and although they were initially expected to release new hardware they backed out. That was even after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly try to persuade the massive Korean company otherwise.
LG even went so far as to experiment with near-field communication (NFC) in a Windows Phone 7.5 device called the LG Fantasy (E740), which we reviewed in May of last year. That device was evidently cancelled even though Sprint was rumored to be one possible candidate for the phone.
The news itself is almost buried without any fanfare in the article, though a quote is directly given to the on the subject:
“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.’’
That’s a shift from an earlier strategy from September when LG CEO Park Jong Seok stated that LG has "no specific plans for other mobile platforms." Before that statement, LG was quoted by the Korea Herald that they were abandoning Microsoft because "The total unit of Windows Phone sold in the global market is not a meaningful figure."
LG later tried to do damage control on that that story by denying its authenticity, though it was not very convincing.
We’ve given LG some flak around these parts in the past for two reasons: their unremarkable second set of devices for Windows Phone 7 and their sudden abandonment of the platform, despite the OEM benefits found with the new OS e.g. more hardware choices, better API access.
We’ll be more than glad to evaluate what LG can bring to the table if they choose to return to the platform, but our sights are on other OEMs at the moment to lead the way for Microsoft. Currently, LG is enjoying some heightened media scrutiny due to their Google branded LG Nexus 4, considered to represent the "true" Google mobile experience.
Source: Korea Times; Thanks, Jeff K., for the tip!