Reasons Why LG Mobile Shut Down Despite Unique Smartphone Designs
By July 2021, the world may be saying goodbye to the global mobile division of LG Electronics Inc. That is when they should be shutting down, although sales of their devices and their devices. spare parts continue for stocks still available on the market.
Reports earlier this year predicted the division’s closure after nearly 6 consecutive years of losses amounting to around US $ 4.5 billion.
The last time LG Mobile made a profit was in 2014, and at the time, they were considered one of the world’s leading smartphone makers with groundbreaking designs.
It started well
The smartphone market has always been extremely competitive, but LG was somewhat of a serious competitor due to its risk-taking nature.
2011 was a pivotal year for LG when it entered the Guinness World Records after its Optimus 2X was the world’s first publicly available dual-core phone (announced and released).
Granted, there were issues with its operating system, but early adopters were more than happy to overlook its flaws. It would also set the tone for LG’s adventurous spirit when it comes to their phones.
LG’s first G-series smartphone, the Optimus G, was already considered better than the flagship phone efforts of Samsung and HTC at the time, but LG made it even better with the G2 in 2013.
It had a bigger battery than its competitors Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One M7, and its camera supported 1080p / 60fps recording before Samsung. That same year, their Optimus L4 was also the first triple SIM smartphone on the market.
In 2015, the G4 brought a leather back to the table on some variants, a feature Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have since copied. It also had a microSD expansion and a removable battery, the latter being a feature LG would also have in several of its future smartphones.
It appealed to a certain group of users as it allowed them to replace and recharge the empty battery on the go via “cradles” that LG also sold.
Perhaps one of the most talked about LG smartphones in history is the V20, launched in 2016. It was LG’s first smartphone to feature the Quad DAC, a system that improved the audio quality of the port.
This would become a hallmark feature of LG smartphones, making them the go-to choice for audiophiles, DJs and musicians.
Other revolutionary and unique smartphone designs that LG has invented over the years include the LG G Flex, the world’s first flexible smartphone, the V40 with its five cameras (another world first for LG) and the case. dual screen from LG.
When competitors were looking for foldable phones, LG took a different route and instead offered users an optional second display that they could attach and detach from their V50, G8x, and V60.
So what happened?
In the first quarter of 2014, LG revealed that it had sold more than 5 million LTE-enabled smartphones, 79% more than they had sold for the entire previous year.
It was an all-time high for the company at the time, and they said they also shipped a total of 12.3 million smartphones in the first quarter of the year.
Not to mention that the company now had a large portfolio of smartphones at different price points, making them an accessible choice for many.
But several major issues would start to affect the company’s mobile line and cause it to lose sales at some point.
1) Bootloop issues that broke customer trust
LG’s flagship phone in 2015, the G4, had boot loop issues, a problem with the hardware that causes a phone to go into an endless restart cycle. Affected users were forced to search for service centers and received replacement G4s, but unfortunately many replacements faced the same boot loop issues.
This naturally shattered customer trust and maybe even trust in the brand, and in 2018 LG settled a class action lawsuit over bootloop issues not only in the G4, but also in the G5, V10 and V20, to name a few other affected phones.
2) They had an innovative spirit, but the implementations fell short
LG, always keen to give users a different experience, started experimenting with modular smartphones. They allowed different attachments to be connected to the bottom of the G5, which were supposed to provide additional functionality.
However, the modules were limited in number and utility, and therefore unpopular with consumers as well.
3) Extremely slow for major software updates
The company has a poor track record of delivering major software updates to users on time, even for their flagship devices. They have in fact acknowledged this on several occasions and said they will develop a division to speed things up.
In 2018, we saw this achieved with their software upgrade division, but for some reason little change was seen in their slowness.
4) Poor marketing efforts compared to competitors
When was the last time you saw a marketing campaign or advertisement for LG smartphones? For me that would be many, many years ago, and mostly in theaters during those 20 minute commercials.
Compared to other smartphone brands like Samsung and Apple, LG has never really gone out of its way to scream the launch of a new phone. This caused their launches to generally fly under the radar, until something unique or bizarre was pointed out in reviews.
Unfortunately, the one or two features that stand out were never really enough to convince consumers to make the purchase.
5) They were often the first, but rarely the best
One of LG’s strengths was its experimental attitude to create unique designs, but they lacked the conviction to develop them at their peak.
This made them the first to launch many then unique models which have since been picked up and improved by other brands at a faster rate.
Take for example the ultra-wide camera function and their initial bezel-less push with the G2, two features that were made popular by their competition.
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Clearly, while other brands preferred the route of safer upgrades through iteration, LG had always preferred to try something new or radical.
Unfortunately, the mass market did not always appreciate their innovative initiatives, resulting in slower adoption and sales. Early adopters alone cannot support a brand.
As the mainstream market turns to LG smartphones and asks, “Why would we even need something like this?”, The user group who remain avid LG fans would retort, “But why not? “
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