LG hasn’t made a profit from its smartphone division in years. No surprise that though, because LG probably isn’t the first (or the second, third, fourth or twenty-ninth name) name on your mind when you think of splurging some money on a new smartphone. It has been this way over the years, particularly with the steady rise in popularity of Chinese phone makers globally, including Xiaomi, Huawei and OnePlus. But LG insists that they will turn things around.
“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,” said Kwon Bong-seok, the president of LG Electronics, while speaking with the media at the Consumer Electronics Show, the CES 2020, in Las Vegas.
The two-pronged strategy that LG is expected to deploy is to make and launch more new phones and also focus on the “wow factor” to attract customers. LG has reported last year that their mobile division continued to eat into the company’s bottom line, with sales continuing to slide in 2017 and 2018—the company numbers suggested sales fell over 40% during that time. Important to note that the company had launched, among other phones, the V40 ThinQ phone at the time, which it marketed as the 5-camera phone. That triuly was the wow factor at the time but didn’t translate into sales. The latest at the wow factor is the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen phone, which has been an unmitigated disaster as far as the user experience is concerned (Read Review Here). As for the second strategy of putting more phone models on the shelves in stores, they may find themselves at a disadvantage even before they start—Samsung has already made its mark at the more affordable price points with the Galaxy M and the Galaxy A series of phones, and Chinese phone makers such as Xiaomi and Realme play the ever-expanding portfolio game better than most with constant phone launches.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what LG is up to in 2020 with its mobile phones.