Sep 14th, 2009

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!]

local_offer    LG  LG Etna  LG GW620