Hong-Kong based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa is rumoured to be in talks to acquire handsets for its faltering third-generation (3G) mobile service from South Korea’s LG Electronics. Hutchison is looking for a new handset supplier after technical glitches and supply problems with previous suppliers NEC and Motorola saw the operator fall well short of end-2003 subscriber targets. In February Hutchison started selling handsets from Finland’s Nokia Group. It has declined to say whether that deal will remain in place should its talks with LG bear fruit. LG is now the fifth largest handset supplier worldwide, having sold around 8.75 million units in the first three months of 2004, a rise of 56% on the corresponding period of 2003.