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LG Unveils Successor To "Chocolate" Mobile Phone

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. unveiled a new mobile phone it hopes will replicate the success of the high selling "Chocolate" models that boosted its profit in the third quarter.

Encased in silver stainless steel to differentiate it from the company's line plastic handsets, the new model, "Shine," is being released to the Korean market first, and will be available in overseas markets from early next year, LG said in a statement.

"I expect this model to be as successful as the Chocolate," said Mun Hwa Park, chief executive of LG's mobile communications division, during the launch ceremony. "We hope to sell as many as 10 million units of the new phone." He did not give a timeframe for the sales target.

The company will continue to produce and sell its Chocolate models, total sales of which may reach about 10 million units by the end of 2007, since being launch in October last year, Park said. LG said it has so far sold more than 4.5 million Chocolate phones globally.

LG Electronics, the world's fifth-largest handset manufacturer by shipments, said Tuesday its handset division swung back to the black in the third quarter, after posting a net loss for the first six months of the year.

The company attributed the rebound to robust sales of its Chocolate phones - sleekly designed models with touch controls instead of buttons and prices that are twice the average of its other models.

The Shine handset, weighing 115 grams and equipped with a 2-megapixel camera, will retail at about KRW600,000 ($630) in Korea, LG said.

LG sold a total 16.5 million handsets in the July-September quarter, up 7% from a year earlier.

Source: LG Electronics Inc.

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