LG Makes Etna Official As GW620 [PRESS RELEASE]

Life will soon be good as LG Electronics has made their first Android phone – the rumored LG Etna – official with a press release announcing it as the LG GW620. The GW620 follows the HTC Dream and Motorola CLIQ in its form factor, offering a 3-inch touchscreen with full slideout QWERTY keyboard.

Besides a few fluffy PR quotes, the Press Release offers little in the way of details. They mention a 4th Quarter launch in select European markets and saying it will appeal to “first-time smartphone customers” suggests it will be on the affordable end of the spectrum.

In any case, for your reading pleasure, the full press release:

First Android Device Signals LG’s Two-tier Smartphone Strategy
Demonstrates two-tier strategy utilizing both Android, Windows Mobile

Seoul, September 14, 2009 — LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in mobile communications, reinforced its aggressive strategy in smartphones by announcing the first Android mobile device which will give LG a broader and more dominant position in this expanding market.

The announcement of LG’s first Android-powered smartphones comes only a week after the world’s third largest mobile phone company announced that it would be introducing three new Windows Mobile smartphones in the next few weeks. These developments underscore LG’s commitment to offering greater consumer choice in the expanding smartphone category.

The new LG-GW620 features a 3-inch full touchscreen and slide out QWERTY keypad to meet the growing needs of consumers who rely on their mobile phones for more than just making calls. The LG-GW620 benefits from an operating system that was created from the ground up to take advantage of the many mobile applications and services developed by search leader Google.

In anticipation of strong demand for smartphones that support social networking functions right out-of-the-box, the LG-GW620 also lives up to LG’s consumer-friendly design philosophy by making the smartphone experience more accessible for typical users. At the same time, LG’s messaging phones have traditionally been very popular with young professionals who demand a full QWERTY keypad for a fast mobile computing experience. The LG-GW620 manages to meet the needs of both types of users simultaneously.

“The LG-GW620 will appeal to first-time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience,” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Our objective is to provide a wide selection of smartphones to satisfy the diverse preferences of today’s consumers. This Android phone is just one of many smartphone models we plan to introduce worldwide in the years ahead.”

In addition to the Android model, LG announced in early September that it will be introducing a minimum of 13 new smartphones over the next 16 months that utilize Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. The newest release, version 6.5, was announced just last week.

The LG-GW620 will be available in the fourth quarter of this year in select European markets.

I’ve heard a lot of people wondering why the company would go from a cool sounding name like the “Etna” to a geeky and insignificant model number like the GW620. My guess is that the LG Press Release is just announcing the product’s existence and the company will let the carrier’s announce their own branded version of the device.

It might be easier for them… but seriously LG, where is the showmanship? Where is the hype? This is a big deal! Letting your first Android phone get whispered with library voices doesn’t show too much confidence, and right out of the gate gives a lot of people the reason to choose the CLIQ/DEXT without even second guessing.

Give people something to talk about!

[Thank you to the dozen or so people who sent this in!]

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  • twrock

    As I read through that press release, I couldn’t help but think LG is scared of Microsoft. Could they have sounded any more apologetic while still trying to make the device seem like something someone somewhere just might want? Rob, you asked where the hype was. I think they’re scared of offending Steve Ballmer. I hear he can be a very scary man when he’s mad. “I’m going to ******* kill Google, and LG!”

  • Johnny Awkward

    Looks nice, but they don’t really sound like they’re throwing their weight behind Android, with their mention of 13 new WinMo phones coming soon.

    Although I’d quite like the phone, I’d also like to be confident that the manufacturer isn’t about the get bored and stop supporting it really soon.

    HTC still sound like the best bet so far.

  • a

    I like LG but this press release sounds like the android is neccesary evil. And gsmarena reports that it will only have a resistive screen (no idea where they got this information)

  • James

    Sorry but this looks like a half assed effort by LG. Andriod is the future, so why all the kissing up to winmo? This phone looks alot like most of the Android phones released so far. Not impressed at all..the original HTC Hero had character..then Sprint got involved. Dont have verizon, but definately looking forward to the Sholes..cause specs and design look like a good departure from what we have been seeing so far from phones running Android.

  • solid

    this is a good looking phone. depending on specs, I could be convinced to part with my g1. I like the idea that this phone would sport a vanilla android os instead of the refried android nonsense that motorolla is pushing. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against vendors enhancing android but I think it should be done as additional libraries, plugins, subsystems (ala hero and jesus Freak) not completely replacing the ui and gimping out the home application.

  • acreda

    I know a lot of people want fast powerful android phones and bigger an better screens but the most important right now is getting the platform brought en-mass as that demand will push forward the:-

    1, Feedback to provide better OS releases in the future
    2, More demand for apps which will grow the popularity of the platform as well
    3, Android has to be cheaper then the iphone!

    So phones stocking vanila android with maybe a few treaks I think is the way to go, have to say love the Dext/cliq but would hope that there is a way to revert the motoblur if users want to.

    its a shame that phandroid is not a UK site, we seem to be getting all the phones in Europe before the states! maybe there should be a link up in podcasts bring news over the pond

  • a

    I agree with solid completely. Give us DivX support, better gallery etc. not completely new UI!

  • Crypto

    > I like the idea that this phone would sport a vanilla android os
    > instead of the refried android nonsense that motorolla is pushing.

    Most people do not understand the CLIQ/BLUR interactions.

    Motorola DID NOT SKIN the Android UI for their CLIQ phone. They have a backend Cloud-computing process called Blur that works on servers that push only the changes to the services you sign up on, to your phone.

    So on the home screens you can have the few specialized Blur Widgets that Motorola has created to stream your data from their Blur servers, or if you prefer you can not sign up with a Blur account, and drag these widgets to the trash…. your choice.

    Also they have improved some of the apps in the phone such as the photographic tools, the bluetooth profiles, etc.

  • jo

    Seems like 2009 is the year of android, htc magic, Samsung galaxy, Samsung galaxy lite, htc hero, t-mobile pulse, htc tattoo, LG gw260, Sony Ericsson (rumor), Motorola cliq, Motorola sholes. And noone of these phones made any hype here in the UK. I know that the mytouch aka HTC magic has a medium hype. Android is not gonna break through if these phones are not mass advertised.

  • Ulvhamne

    I’ve actually seen a bunch of ads for the magic and hero in sweden. :) Not that sweden really matters. Had a bunch of non techie friends ask me about “That new, white phone on TV” … Meaning magic.

    So, not making a huge splash, but at least there be ripples outside of the techie community. :)

  • http://k.com mdizz

    I don’t know about the face design, i don’t like iphone knockoff design. I wish people would make something unique. BUT those keys look really nice to press. not too small not too large with a dedicated number row. if only it were staggered but that isn’t a deal breaker.

  • lina bryse

    The LG-GW620 benefits from an operating system that was created from the ground up to take advantage of the many mobile applications and services developed by search leader Google.. More details: http://bit.ly/lg-intouch-max-gw260-details