LG’s Recent Growth Spurt Explained

Analysts are predicting that LG (SEO: 066570), the world’s third largest handset maker, may ship up to 20 percent more cellphones this year, despite a rotten economy and predictions for the overall cellphone market to fall.

So, what’s the secret?

The South Korean firm tells the WSJ that it is appointing responsibility for each and every phone that’s shipped out the door to one individual. The person is responsible for the phone from the moment it moves out of the research lab until its last day on a store shelf. The practice allows them to quickly recognize which of its 50-or so phones each year are doing well and adjust accordingly. Kim Myung-ho, a VP in LG’s cellphone division: “In the past, we didn’t have people who owned the performance of a product. ow that we do, the number of hit phones we have is increasing.”

The impact has been positive. Today, LG said a new touchscreen phone called Cookie had shipped five million units since its release in November. Other handsets, including the Chocolate and Vu phones, have been popular as well.

On Wednesday, we’ll see just how well LG did when it releases its second-quarter report. Analysts believe LG will report profit for the quarter was just slightly below, or possibly above, its year-ago level — when it recorded its best ever April to June period.