Years ago, I loved LG’s mobile phones. They were trying to do interesting things with their devices – like including modular componenets like external speakers with battery packs, or include high-end DACS for audio enthusiasts and content creators. They were one of the first device manufacturers to push for phones with much lower body to screen rations and barely-there bezels. Unfortunately, against competition from Samsung and Huawei, they floundered.
Once of the larger mobile phone makers, LG’s market share has dwindled to almost nothing. According to Research and Analysis firm HIS Markit, in Q2 of last year, LG had just a 3% slice of the mobile market; a pittance compared to the 23 percent commanded by Samsung, 18 percent by Huawei and 11 percent by Apple and Oppo.
It’s an unfortunate situation that the company hopes to reverse this year. Speaking at CES, LG’s new CEO boss Kwon Bong-seok said at CES this year.
“LG Electronics mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021. I can say we can make that happen as LG Electronics will expand our mobile lineup and steadily release new ones attached with some wow factors to woo consumers,” Bong-seok affirmed.
How will they woo consumers? Well, it seems that they’re going to try to become a leader in the 5G space. In an interview last year, Bong-seok said in February last year.
“LG has achieved technological innovation in the smartphone business for years but also witnessed market failure. As there is a market expectation that 5G network will become an opportunity to grow the smartphone business, we will try to release a higher quality 5G smartphone to lead the market,” he said.
Personally, I hope that the company’s position has changed. 5G seems to be taking time to find its feet properly, so rushing to market to support the technology isn’t likely to net sales. While it’s not exactly sexy, I think focusing less on flagships and instead using trickle-down technology to sell cheaper devices to appeal to the masses and chip at away at mindshare first before launching very expensive flagships is in my opinion, a better strategy. It’s one that’s obviously worked for Huawei. Once a purveyor of decidedly middle and lower-end devices, they’re now bigger than Apple, and regular josh for first place against Samsung.
Last Updated: January 10, 2020