LONDON -- LG has launched a new smartphone with two screens, which it hopes will help boost flagging sales as it struggles to compete against increased competition from China.
The LG V10 smartphone features a secondary screen above the main 5.7-inch display that will be used for notifications as well as aiding multitasking. The second "always-on" screen will display the time, date, weather and battery level when the main screen is off. When the main screen is on, the smaller display will be used to quickly switch between apps, access favorite contacts and highlight notifications.
LG's V10 smartphone features premium materials including a stainless steel frame and silicone cover while internally it mimics the company's G4 smartphone that was launched earlier in the year. The V10 will be the first in a range of V smartphones from the company as it seeks to boost sales in a difficult market.
While LG remains the third biggest smartphone maker in the U.S. it has struggled to compete against the rising tide of Chinese manufacturers who have quickly grabbed a big chunk of the global market. Worldwide LG has seen its market share slip in the last 12 months with shipments down over 10 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015 and it has dropped out of the list of top five smartphone manufacturers, dropping behind the likes of Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi, with less than 4 percent of the global smartphone market share.
At the launch of the V10 in South Korea, LG's mobile division chief Cho Juno told Reuters the firm will use the high-end device as well as new mid-to-low tier products to boost market share. The device will go on sale initially in the company's home country for $679 before going on sale in the U.S. and China soon after.
As well as its unique second display, the LG V10 features two front-facing cameras, one with a wider field of vision to allow for taking images of groups or landscapes. LG is pushing the camera capability of the smartphone, especially the video quality, which can be captured in up to 4K resolution. The rear 16-megapixel camera also features both optical and electronic image stabilization, and full manual controls.
Cho said that LG was expecting to see an uptick in smartphone sales in the final three months of the years, which lead many to suggest that sales in the quarter just finished were particularly poor. This week also saw the launch of the LG-built Nexus 5X from Google that will go on sale later this month, and will also help bolster sales for the company.