LG Electronics is touting 3-D smartphones as an alternative to dedicated handheld game devices.
The company launched its LG Optimus 3-D phone Thursday in South Korea after beginning a global release last month covering more than 60 markets including Spain and Britain. No special glasses are required to view 3-D content on the phone.
Park Jong-seok, CEO of LG's mobile communications business, said that 3-D smartphones such as the Optimus can hold their own against dedicated handheld gaming platforms.
"The era of dedicated handheld gaming is over," he said in a release.
Success with the 3-D phone would be welcome for the South Korean company, which has been struggling to overcome weakness in mobile phones. LG's mobile communications business has suffered four straight quarterly operating losses.
LG Electronics Co. is the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer behind No. 1 Nokia Corp. of Finland and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.
LG unveiled the new device, its first 3-D smartphone, earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain and began rolling it out in global markets last month.
LG said the phone comes pre-installed with three full versions of games from Gameloft including "Asphalt 6: Adrenaline."
"You can actually now play exciting 3D games, advanced 3D games directly on your mobile phone," said Alexandre Tan, Gameloft's director of business development, said at a launch event Thursday in Seoul. "Clearly this is the next big thing for both the gaming and the mobile industry."
The LG Optimus 3-D can record and play back 3-D content. LG is not alone in launching such a phone. Taiwan's top smartphone maker HTC Corp. is also out with its EVO 3-D smartphone
LG spokesman Ken Hong said the LG Optimus 3-D phone will be available later this summer in the United States as the LG Thrill 4G.