LG launches Android smartphone in South Korea

LG has released a new Google Android-powered smartphone that marks the company’s first Android phone for the South Korean market.

The LG Andro-1 LG-KH5200 smartphone ships with a full QWERTY keyboard, 3-inch touch screen and 5-megapixel camera.  Additional details about the phone remain unknown.

It’s available for about $570 (650,000 won) in South Korea only.

The South Korean market — a growing market that manufacturers want to study further — currently only has two Android phones: the LG Andro-1 and the Motorola Motoroi.  The Apple iPhone arrived in South Korea last December, with 400,000 iPhone units sold since launch.

LG launches Android smartphone in South Korea

South Korea also plays host to RIM BlackBerry smartphones, with several other companies expected to increase their presence in the area.  Samsung, the No. 2 phone maker in the world, will also offer an Android smartphone in South Korea sometime this spring.

LG, the third largest mobile phone company in the world, continues to struggle against RIM, Apple and Nokia. LG plans to flood the market with 20 different smartphones, with 10 or so Android phones expected in 2010.

RIM, Apple and Nokia control almost 75% of the mobile phone market, with LG interested in controlling a double-digit portion of the market in two years.  If its plan to launch 20 smartphones is met with a fair level of support, it could have a very good year, analysts now predict.