The most exciting news in mobile has been centered around the same players as of late. Rumors of the HTC M7, Samsung Galaxy S IV, and the potential for Apple to announce more than one smartphone are justified but redundant. Of the three names just mentioned, there's one manufacturer who has little to prove but everything to gain. And based on last year's success, I'd say LG is more than capable of taking some of the spotlight away from the big names in mobile.

In fact, LG and HTC have more in common than what first meets the eye.

LG would argue that they're in the same league as Apple, Samsung, and even HTC, but the fact is they've had a very tough time entering the premium smartphone market. Whether it was LG's lackluster devices, slow updates, or recent manufacturing woes with the Nexus 4, we have had time to wonder just what LG needs to do to get going here in the states. If there ever was a time to capitalize on a moderately successful product like the LG Optimus G, it was yesterday for the winking South Korean company.

Though LG had a relatively successful year in 2012, they weren't under as much scrutiny as HTC. In fact, very little news about the Taiwanese company was positive. Even CEO Peter Chou admits they've come up short. But for all the gripes against HTC's marketing and release strategy in the states they've still managed to sell devices. Though second-tier manufacturers like Huawei and LG have tried to grab some market share in the states, the latter has clearly had more success infiltrating the market even if we haven't noticed.

LG was one of only three other manufacturers who showed positive growth in total smartphone subscribers in Q4 of 2012. HTC and Motorola were the only two companies to show a decline in subscriptions. The fact that LG was alongside Apple and Samsung must be worth something for the South Korean tech giant.

But it's going to take more than just a premium device and some moderate growth to grab our attention. Having said this, it's far from impossible for LG to steal the spotlight from their competitors if they can get a few things right and acknowledge their missteps.

First, they need to launch the same device with the same stellar hardware across all carriers. This should sound familiar if you read Taylor Martin's recent editorial about the HTC M7. However, where HTC's popularity and fall from relevance has caught them off guard, LG should be able to capitalize on their up-swing with the success of the Optimus G.

Not only does LG need to launch a similar (if not the same) device across multiple carriers, they need to market their brand. LG has proven to have a competitive track record in the field of customer satisfaction. In fact, our friends at DroidDog recently reported that LG was third to only Apple and Samsung in the Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index smartphone category. HTC was down in sixth place behind Nokia, Sony, and Motorola. Simply put, LG is the best of the rest in terms of customer satisfaction. This is the type of news LG should be marketing. 

Another area where LG can surprise is in their stateside launch of their next flagship. Those on AT&T received a one-off version of the Optimus G with a dulled-down camera. But those on Sprint received the same device as the international customers. This is a similar strategy that HTC used in 2012 with the One X, except they favored AT&T. LG is fully capable of capitalizing on the lost momentum of HTC if they can launch a single device across all carriers.

Secondly, if LG wishes to remain relevant and associated with premium devices, they'll need to take risks. You need only look back six months to the stateside launch of the LG Optimus G to see that LG is aggressive (and borderline irrational) with their launch strategies. The Optimus G was their most successful launch in the Optimus line despite it launching in the same month as the iPhone 5. Why they chose to announce it at the same time as Apple did is beyond me. Regardless, it was far from a failure. Though they only recently announced sales surpassing the one million mark, that's a million devices less than Apple and Samsung could sell.

With LG's recent outing of the image above on their Facebook page they've got very little to prove. Not much can be drawn from the image regarding potential devices, but the text says we should expect a new series. This isn't too exciting considering LG has had mediocre (at best) success with their L-Series handsets.

Let's say they do refresh their L-Series. This would only be LG's stab at marketing their mid-range handsets as a competitor to Samsung's Galaxy S II, Apple's iPhone 4S, and HTC's soon-to-be defunct One S.

More exciting is the potential for the Optimus G's successor which NTT DoComo leaked a few weeks ago. The LG Optimus G Pro/Optimus G2 will feature a 5-inch 1920x1080 IPS LCD display with Zero Gap Touch tech, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 32GB of storage, a MicroSD card slot, 2GB of RAM, a massive 3,000mAh battery, a 13.2MP camera around back and 2.4MP camera on the front.

If there's any reason to be excited about LG's recent announcement on Facebook, it's the potential for this device. Not only does it pack a battery just 100mAh smaller than Samsung's phablet Galaxy Note II, the seemingly edge-to-edge display looks set to be a stunner. It's also quite the looker if you dig physical buttons and a svelte profile.

Aside from the Optimus G, the Nexus 4 stole the hearts of many Android purists with their slam dunk combination of premium hardware, vanilla software, and an unbelievable price tag. If there's anything we've learned from LG this past year, it's that they are fully capable of delivering on the fronts of premium build quality and specifications. In 2012, Google believed in LG which is why I believe they'll be able to continue this momentum through 2013.

Reader! What do you think of LG's recent success with the Optimus G? Do you think it will be enough to convince consumers that its successor is a better alternative to whatever HTC cooks up? Are you excited for the LG Optimus G Pro? Having owned the Sprint variant of the Optimus G, I can honestly say this device has big shoes to fill...maybe too big. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Update: Click here for LG's latest teaser video.

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60 Reactions to this post

"Is LG a better Nexus manufacturer than Samsung and HTC?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Arpit Gohil
Arpit Gohil yes till now
Kevin Zhang
Kevin Zhang HTC
BG Michael
Anthony Ochoa
Anthony Ochoa Joe Francesco Kassira hell No! iOS all day
Joe Francesco Kassira
Joe Francesco Kassira Anthony Ochoa no Samsung
Paul Battle
Paul Battle Probably just screen technology. But even then HTC and Samsung have accomplished amazing screens for mobile devices. One being the HTC droid DNA and the latter being the Nexus 10. Im hoping for the next nexus smartphone be with Samsung. Over for LTE capability, 2 for screen resolution, and the for that Exynos Octa goodness. But a man can dream.
Flako Ramirez
Flako Ramirez LG who? Hell no...lol
Adam Carter
Adam Carter The specs on the Optimus G Pro/G2 are amazing though.. quad core 1.7 snap, 2gb ram, 3000mah battery, 1080p edge to edge 5" screen, 32gb storage AND a microsd card slot? That hits every single option that I currently want in a smartphone..
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski nothing lg is good. ill stick with samsung.
Paul Keefe
Paul Keefe Nooooo
Chris Northcutt
Chris Northcutt I like Samsung
Jae Streets
Jae Streets Nexus 4 is the best nexus to date. All glass and jellybean. Then klp once its released... What else do you need? I feel they should have put a 2mp front cam. But compared to the s3? Pssshhhh way better build quality and to ME personally its faster. I still have people asking me what phone is that?
Charles W. Y. Wong
Charles W. Y. Wong LG and Samsung are almost the same in electronics and household market
Nathaniel Hull
Nathaniel Hull its goina be outdated in the android world, by time its stocked up for everyone again
Javier Sanchez Ojeda
Javier Sanchez Ojeda Not yet
Julian Scott
Julian Scott Honestly I have no clue.
Juan Valladares
Juan Valladares Compared to the s3 the n4 has the superior build quality. The s3 feels cheap in the hand..too much use of plastic..especially the back cover. Even in comparison to my Nokia 808..the plastic on the s3 is thin..too thin for my liking.
David Daniel Schwartz
David Daniel Schwartz No
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen By far the best build quality nexus
Jason P Gardner
Jason P Gardner Hell no
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. Hell no.
Gabriel Freeman
Gabriel Freeman Who is actually able to get an N4 for comparison?
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino as far yes it is, but know is time for motorola to manufactur the next NEXUS
Eric Quach
Eric Quach I'm still waiting for another HTC Nexus damn it
Nathan Parks
Nathan Parks The nexus 4 is better than the galaxy nexus in every way but if it came down to it, Samsung g could make a much better phone if they wanted.
Roger Schubert DeOliveira
Roger Schubert DeOliveira The nexus 4 is the forest android phone to bear the iPhone in build quality
Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas No. The Nexus 4 compared to a Now generation Galaxy the nexus 4 is not better. Therefore no
Cameron Walton
Cameron Walton LG Optimus G on Sprint is Boss.
Adrian C. Morcerf
Adrian C. Morcerf LG=lie good. I swear I won t buy an LG phone ever again. I think they are the oem with the fewest updates.
Katelyn Morton
Katelyn Morton LG Optimus G is a great phone. I have loved it since the moment I got it which, consequently, was the day it released at Sprint, about 2.5 months ago. Cosmetically, i think it looks nicer than an iPhone, internally, it runs great, and, let's face it, Android is a better OS. LG fan right here.
Jarmo Salmela
Jarmo Salmela @Javier Delgado: that was Google's fault not LG's.
Thiên Phúc Nguy?n Cù
Thiên Phúc Nguy?n Cù Nexus one is the best =))
Hend Farid
Hend Farid No, HTC then Samsung and LG should not do more nexus or phones... ever
Ernesto Moreno
Ernesto Moreno Samsung, HTC, then LG
Javier Delgado
Javier Delgado build quality yess best nexus so far...manufacturing speed???...they sucked bad.. people got to admit..the phone its solid and looks good..they just screwed it up responding to the high demand
Jerry Tan KL
Jerry Tan KL HTC & Samsung is OK. LG not so..... Why? LG = Low Grade
Arvin Tadeo
Arvin Tadeo All I gots to say is G2X. AND NOT JUST NO BUT HEYELLLLLLLL NOOOOOO!!!!!!
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores Os not the best but is not bad either
Lim Xilvre
Lim Xilvre Of course
Karl Wuscher
Karl Wuscher Yes the HTC Nexus One is a legend
Gordon Christie
Gordon Christie I've had three Samsung phone never found them to feel cheap and the note and note 2 are the best phones on market
Robbie Piccione
Robbie Piccione No. From my experience, LG can't build a phone right just to save the company's life! GO SAMSUNG, HTC, AND MOTOROLA!
Joey Robusto
Joey Robusto Got the LG g2x. LG NEVER AGAIN!
Shahriman Onn
Shahriman Onn Would love to see an htc nexus in the near future
Tabib Rehman
Tabib Rehman Iphone 5 doesnt feel premium to me
John-Paul Rojas
John-Paul Rojas Oops. After a Google search I found that it's on its way as the X Phone.
Adrian Salazar
Adrian Salazar Samsung has great hardware just wish there phones felt more premium like the iphone. That's probably why people go and get a iPhone cause the build quality regardless if Android is better OS
Keo Massiah
Keo Massiah Nothing out there is touching the galaxy note 2 as a all around phone
John-Paul Rojas
John-Paul Rojas Wait.. What happened to Google owning Motorola mobility? I was expecting a waterproof Nexus RAZR by now.
Maduka Suraweera
Maduka Suraweera Yes lg is perfect
Jesse Ling
Jesse Ling No.They just happened to make the right phone the right way when it was their turn.
Curtis M. Cook
Curtis M. Cook From a design standpoint yes.
Keo Massiah
Keo Massiah Samsung Mobile USA all day the galaxy line is the best
Jesse Huertas
Jesse Huertas Htc Nexus One was stuff of legends...
Vonda Newton
Vonda Newton It looks better but the functionality sucks
Brandon Cote
Brandon Cote Yup
Vonda Newton
Vonda Newton No Samsung Mobile USA is always best!
Fernando Gonzalez
Fernando Gonzalez With all the build quality issues the Nexus 4 haha, hell fucking no.
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr your comparing a year old phone to a new one of course LG looks better
Jarmo Salmela
Jarmo Salmela Yes

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