While most companies are gearing up to launch their flagship devices for this year, LG has something else up its sleeves. If reports are to be believed, the South Korean company is making major changes to its smartphone business strategy. Part of this change it seems is to back out of the Chinese market.
While China remains the biggest smartphone market in the world, the local media (via GSMArena) claims that LG is planning on backing out. Not surprisingly, the primary reason behind this proposed move is strong competition from Chinese brands.
Recently, LG announced its financial results. While LG Electronics as a whole posted good numbers, the company’s mobile division recorded $192 million operating loss for Q4. The official press release also mentioned that LG was facing ‘strong competition from Chinese brands’. Of the estimated 480 million smartphones sold in 2016, only about 160,000 units are said to have been sold in China.
In such a scenario, the company seems to be taking the easy way out instead of competing with more affordable devices from local brands. Interestingly, LG doesn’t seem to be very focused on the Chinese market either. Its flagship devices like the G6 and V30 are yet to launch in the country. A quick look at the official website reveals that the last big launch was the LG G5.
In the meanwhile there are contrasting reports about LG’s plans for its 2018 flagship smartphone. While some reports claim that the LG G7 will be unveiled at MWC 2018 later this month, other reports contradict these claims.
There have been reports claiming that LG is rethinking its premium smartphone strategy. In fact, the G7 smartphone team has reportedly been told to review the new product from scratch. During CES 2018, Jo Seong-jin, vice chairman and CEO of LG Electronics announced, “We will unveil new smartphones when it is needed. But we will not launch it just because other rivals do.”
Coincidentally, earlier this year LG trademarked a new series of smartphones called ‘Icon’. Three smartphones were named – LG Icon, LG Aicon and LG Aiconn. Could these be the next-generation LG premium smartphones? We will just have to wait and see.