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2010/02/17 09:00 KST
(MWC 2010) LG rules out making its own mobile operating system

By Lee Youkyung
BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc., the world's third-largest handset maker, said Tuesday that it will stay away from a mobile operating system war that has further intensified with new product announcements made this week.

   "Our strategy is not to make an independent mobile platform of our own at least for the next two to three years," Scott Ahn, head of the South Korean firm's mobile business unit, told a press round table at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.

   LG's local rival Samsung Electronics Co., the world's second-largest, has rolled out a new phone based on its Bada operating system. Finland's Nokia Corp., which already had its own operating system Maemo, unwrapped MeeGo, its new open platform jointly developed with Intel Corp.
The weak smartphone portfolio of South Korean handset makers has sparked concerns that they may see their shares eroding as the handset industry sees an explosion in the number of smartphones reaching the market.

   More companies are betting on smartphone operating system to win the attention of consumers and mobile carriers, believing that it is the software that differentiates their products. Samsung announced that it plans to increase the portion of its Bada-based phone, starting with the Bada-based Wave.

   But its local rival LG decided to stay with currently available operating system.

   "It is a competition of how to make an ecosystem that combines device, platform, contents and service," Ahn added. "It is difficult for a single company to dominate the entire ecosystem."
He forecast that a number of current smartphone operating system will be winnowed down to the three -- iPhone, Android by Google Inc. and Windows Phone by Microsoft Corp. -- within one or two years.

   "For a while, we will concentrate on Android and Windows Phone 7 Series by Microsoft," he said.