LG’s smartphone group continues to struggle

“Our overall performance is gradually improving… but it’s difficult to give a precise prediction when our business will turn around due to a fast changing external market environment.”

Park Jong-seok, head of LG’s handset division on why the company is cutting its 2011 smartphone shipments target to 24 million units from 30 million this year. The handset group is now expected to have a fifth consecutive quarterly loss at a time when rivals such as HTC, Samsung and Apple (s aapl) are all growing sales of their smartphones. When you’re late to the game, it’s difficult to win because the early adopters have the momentum and are reaping the most rewards: another way to blame to situation on the “fast changing” environment.