Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer invited LG exec Skott Ahn up on stage at Mobile World Congress. The two ripped through a couple of showtunes, and then Ahn dropped the bomb — LG's making Windows Mobile it's primary smartphone operating system for the foreseeable future.
We're talking dozens (like, 50 or so) phones over the next three years. They two companies will have joint marketing services, and Ahn joined in on the new company line (which we also heard back at CES): "I'm sure we can take the Windows Phone market to the next level," he said.
We've had the less-than-stellar LG Incite on AT&T now for a while in the states. We're expecting to see at least a few LG Windows Phones (might as well get used to that moniker) here at MWC09.
Full presser after the jump.
BARCELONA — Feb. 16, 2009 — LG Electronics (LG) and Microsoft Corp. today announced an expanded alliance to dramatically increase the number of LG phones running Windows. As part of the agreement, LG will make Windows its primary operating system for its smartphones and will increase both the number of Windows® phones in its portfolio and the total volume of Windows® phones it distributes. This will create a tenfold increase in the volume of Windows® phones available from LG in 2009 and bring up to 26 new Windows® phones to market in 2012 alone. Overall, the agreement can result in more than 50 new LG Windows® phones.
“New LG phones running Windows will take advantage of the excitement in this dynamically growing market,” said Yong Nam, vice chairman and chief executive officer, LG Electronics. “The Windows platform brings flexible and customer-friendly software that ties into the Web and the PC, giving our phones a wide range of new capabilities to address an increasing number of segments and markets.”
“Windows® phones enable people to tap into digital experiences that span their lives so they can connect to the people, information and services they care about most,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Integrating Windows software with LG’s design leadership will bring new experiences to help enrich people’s lives.”
The agreement also includes a commitment by both companies to create joint teams for research and development, to focus on creating phones with powerful features built on tight integration between hardware and software. It also details joint marketing efforts to expand the reach of these phones at a range of prices in markets across the globe.
This agreement follows a memorandum of understanding signed by LG and Microsoft on Nov. 3, 2008, which put in place strategic collaboration on the converged mobile device business.
Complementing the expanded alliance, LG also announced the LG-GM730, which incorporates LG’s signature style with a slim (11.9 mm) and seamless profile and rounded edges. The Windows® phone is user-friendly with features like one-click e-mail setup and easy finger navigation while browsing with the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile. Available in the first half of 2009 on Windows Mobile 6.1, LG will add Windows Mobile 6.5 version to their portfolio in the second half of 2009.
About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications, employing more than 82,000 people working in 114 operations including 82 subsidiaries around the world. With 2008 global sales of USD 44.7 billion, LG is comprised of five business units - Home Entertainment, Home Appliance, Air Conditioning, Business Solutions and Mobile Communications. LG is the world’s leading producer of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theater systems. For more information, please visit www.lge.com.
LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company (LG) is a leading global mobile communication and information company. LG creates handsets that provide an optimized mobile experience to customers around the world with its cutting-edge technology and innovative handset design capabilities. Increasingly, LG is pursuing convergence technology and mobile computing products. LG will continue to take leadership in the mobile communication environment with stylish designs and smart technology.
For more information, please visit www.lge.com.