NEW YORK — LG is making smartphones with optional leather backs as it seeks to distinguish its phones from Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones.
The message at Tuesday’s announcement of the new G4: We’re not like the others.
Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market, with LG and other companies vying for third place with market shares of less than 5 percent each.
The G4 will have a choice of leather finishes, crafted for a better grip. By contrast, Apple and HTC use metal and Samsung uses glass. LG made a dig at Samsung, without naming it, by pointing out that glass can be marred with fingerprints.
LG will make phones with traditional backs, too — using metal or ceramic. Prices weren’t announced, though LG said the leather models will cost more in some markets.
LG also boasts a better camera with manual controls typically limited to full-bodied SLR cameras.
The G4 will debut around the world in the coming weeks. It is expected to reach the U.S. in early June.