LG's smartphone division is planning something a bit special—a press release just unveiled three new Windows-powered phones due very soon. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: ten more are due in 2010.
The only phone from the thirteen that LG details in any great depth is the GW550 (pictured), the company's first candybar QWERTY smartphone. It'll sport Windows Mobile 6.5, surfacing in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and its UI is LG's 3D-ish S-Class skin. It looks pretty simple, and you could probably slot it into the same class as the Samsung BlackJacks or BlackBerry Pearl.
As for the remaining twelve phones, LG's being totally mysterious. We do know they'll all have WinMo 6.5 inside, and that one will be a touch-slider with QWERTY keyboard while another will be a full touchscreen phone. What is clear is that LG's teaming up with Microsoft to combat the threat of the iPhone, Palm Pre and the suite of Android-powered devices that are busy vacuuming up the smartphone market that MS used to dominate (though LG, curiously, has its own Android phones too). LG's Mobile Communications division president Dr. Scott Ahn sets this out in no uncertain terms: This is "a strong testament that LG is committed to offering a spectrum of choices for our broad range of customers...Our work with Microsoft on mobile devices reflects our strategy of offering the best in both hardware and software in all our smartphones." LG's even hopping on the app store bandwagon with its own LG Application Store which will apparently have up to 2,000 apps by the end of 2009.
We understand this strategy, since the smartphone market is the future of cell phones and it's worth a huge pile of money. But, seriously LG? Thirteen different phones? That's taking product diversity to ridiculous extremes—and can you guarantee that each one was lavished with extraordinary levels of design attention? I suspect not. LG may indeed have a diverse customer base, but this amounts to product spamming.