LG Electronics' Q3 profits soar, but its mobile division is still struggling

LG Electronics has just posted its operating profit estimates for the third quarter of 2017, and it's fair to say things are a bit of a mixed bag. On the surface, the results are very impressive: the company has achieved an 82.2% year-over-year increase in profit, which is quite the improvement.

However, it seems LG's mobile division has nothing to do with this profit. On the contrary, The Financial Times reports that LG Mobile is believed to have posted a loss for the tenth consecutive quarter — granted, this isn't drag the entire company down bad, but it's still pretty bad. In fact, current estimates put the total loss in revenue at about $176 million, which is even more than last year's $117 million.

Or in other words, it seems LG's hopes in the Q6 and Q8 didn't exactly bear much fruit, while the company's current-up-until-a-week-ago flagship G6 didn't sell well when faced with its higher-specced competition.

The brand-new V30 hasn't exactly made much of a dent, either, thanks to its poor release timing (it launched in Korea on September 21, while the U.S. is yet to see a full release). So even if it turns out to be a huge market success — which is somewhat doubtful, given LG's recent history — the Q3 ship has already sailed, and its impact will be felt in the last quarter of the year instead.

But grim mobile news aside, LG's other businesses have seen great success in the past three months. The most notable are the television and home appliance divisions, whose profits are expected to boost LG's end-of-2017 earnings to record numbers.

source: LGThe Financial Times (paywalled) via Android Authority



32. haoflakes

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

this doesn't* drag the entire company...

31. schinnak

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Not surprised. LG is leading the OLED race in the tv space and even the new OLED entrants like Sony and Panasonic uses LG's OLED panels. They will very likely take over Samsung in the TV space and their home appliances (including Smart devices) looks strong. Its mainly the mobile division they are lagging behind and it will not be easy even though they come up with decent devices like V30 - there r always the biggies like Samsung & Apple coupled with the Chinese phones to compete with in midrange.

27. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1625; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

The problem for LG is that Apple and Samsung are a duopoly in the phone space, they are common household names, and every one wants an iPhone or Galaxy because they're friends and family use it. LG could consistently launch the best phone year after year, and without strong advertising most people won't consider it. They need to get more reps into carrier stores and start providing free display units and training to help promote their products. They need to advertise more, outside of social media I don't see ads for LG products.

22. Shamoy

Posts: 112; Member since: Dec 28, 2013

OLED is only going to be temporary success, if they don't invest in MicroLED, they will drown and their panel making business and TV business will crash, same goes for Samsung.

21. CableTelcontar

Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 19, 2014

LG just can't get it's marketing and logistics right. The disaster Apple is facing with their issues with the iPhone X is just another at the office for LG. And Sony. And HTC. They just don't get their otherwise excellent products into sufficient markets in sufficient quantites on time. Something Apple and Samsung have perfected to a T. Heck a good number of the smaller Chineese OEMs have managed the same. But these guys can't get it right inthe US market. They can't get it right in China. They can't get it right in India. How on earth do they expect to get it right globally? The latest official LG phone I have seen is the G5. The G5!! Priced same as Samsung's 2017 edition A7. Why will anyone get a 2 year old device? And by the way, I can get their latest big screen TVs, refrigerators and such. But not their mobile phones. It's why for me the V30 isn't even in competition with the Note8. I am getting the Note8 this month. But I'll probably see the V30 first time in 2020

28. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1625; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I worked for Verizon until last year, and I never saw a customer with a V10 or G5, by the time the V20 released I no longer worked there but I have never seen one of those in the wild either. A G4 is the newest LG I have seen someone using, I currently have no friends/family with an LG phone.

20. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Not sure why Google bought HTC sucky employees instead of the LG ones. Weird

26. tedkord

Posts: 17546; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

HTC has made some great phones through the years. They must focus recently.

19. Eclectech

Posts: 364; Member since: May 01, 2013

They might not be doing well on the Mobile side, but a quick trip thru Best Buy, and you'd think LG has the refrigerator, washer & dryer, and (to a lesser extent) TV market in a headlock. When I get some money I know what appliances I'm buying.

9. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I think the problem is LG, alot of people look at LG as a "cheap" brand, if they changed their nama like Samsung with galaxy or sony woth xperia it might help. But it's probably to late now.

15. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

This is why I went with Note8. It is LG not Xiaomi or Oneplus , not cheap Chinese brand. LG is big as Samsung,Apple. But LG's flagship prices dropping quickly.

16. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Samsung used to be "cheap" electronics too; it was the Korean Sony wannabe. Kinda like Hyundai used to be viewed as cheap but are now competing with Honda and Toyota. LG used to be pretty great in flip/featurephones 10 years ago; I owned 3 and loved them. LG just didn't get its act together in smartphones the way Samsung did. Hmm... maybe Visio should take a crack at smartphones.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17546; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yeah, I had an LG flip phone a decade ago. It was solid.

8. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I walked into a Verizon (authorized) retailer the other day and one of the sales reps said LG should stop making phones. While I disagree - I think Samsung needs a STRONG competitor in the Android space - he wasn't entirely off-base. LG lost a ton of ground after the success of the G3, with G4 bootloader issues and related class-action suit, a failed modular G5, and a G6 that gets overlooked because it should have waited on the SD835. The V30 might be a wonderful product, but it feels too little, too late for the mature smartphone market.

6. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

It will be worse because LG released the V30 with POLED that have issues like Galaxy S2. Till LG G7(probably wont have issues) , V30 will be bad for LG.

10. drazwy

Posts: 380; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

You do know that the V30, S8 and Note8 are all POLED right?

14. haruken

Posts: 313; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Nop, Samsung's phones are Amoled, while LG's are the lesser P-OLED. Not all Oled screens are the same, that's why Samsung's are industry leading and praised everywhere.

17. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Actually he is true. Samsung is using plastics in superAmoled too. So we can say P-sAMOLED

18. drazwy

Posts: 380; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

No, sorry. Both LG and Samsung use Active Matrix Organic Light Emiting Diode technology (AMOLED). This is not a Samsung exclusive. Everyone does it now a days.They both also use plastic substrates (p-OLED). They are, the exact same technology. Look it up. I did. While technologically similar, that isn't to say the displays will look the same. In tests so far it looks like Samsung has a higher quality display being produced. Could be production line issues, quality of materials, etc. Samsung has a lot more experience in creating OLED panels for phones than LG and have had years to refine the process. Point is, the screens use the same technology and AMOLED has nothing to do with POLED. They are different things and both companies utilized them both.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Just like Samsung's financial situation. They also earn vast majority of their revenues from semi conductors, OLED panels, NAND flash chips but not in Mobile division. In the 2017 Q2 $7.1 Billion of the total $12.6 Billion profits came from their chip business. That's 56% of all profits. Mobile division only made $3.6 Billion out of total profits. That's like 28%... Vast majority of the revenues of chip business comes from Apple. From this year onward as iPhone X is having OLED screens Samsung will get paid more and more from Apple. In a nutshell Samsung is doing all the unintelligent labor work for Apple.

7. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 932; Member since: May 07, 2014

So, do you think iPhone 8 is intelligent?... There is a majority of sheeps does not mean that s**t is good... It's just that sheeps are brainwashed...

12. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

When the word Sheeple is in your VEINS.

13. haruken

Posts: 313; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

First of all, Samsung's mobile division isn't losing money, so nothing like LG. Secondly, how can you call producing and manufacturing the industry's top screen and processors 'unintelligent' work?

24. tedkord

Posts: 17546; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Only $3.6 billion profit in a quarter? Oh dear, how will they survive? They're doing most of Apple's work, considering the iPhone X is a shameless following of the S8. Plus, they've put out the best rated phones, bar none, the past three years straight. In other words, your troll was unsuccessful, Putz. But do please keep trying, it's amusing.

30. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1625; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

In a nutshell Apple is basically a kid assembling the legos designed and manufactured by others.

3. redmd

Posts: 1972; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

LG lost its focus. Shameless as it may sound they should do a Samsung style. Tier their product. Fixed release cycles. Update previous models. They have so many ideas they just can't get it all together.

1. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Hmm..wonder why. The v30, its best mobile product yet, still has an unknown unlocked release date despite being announced weeks ago.

2. nikhil23

Posts: 508; Member since: Dec 07, 2016

V30 is indeed a great product. LG should have released it before. One problem with releasing a phone in Q4 is they have very less time to get revenue from purchasing at full price as by November, there will be discounts due to holiday season. Hope they get good profits in Q4

4. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

V30 is great all-rounder and cheaper than most H2 flagships. But their marketing is just bad, I can see lots of note8 and iPhone ads on TV, websites, online shops, posters around town, and even billboard. But I haven't seen any V30 ad till now :-/

11. PryvateiDz

Posts: 447; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

I agree with both of you. I can say the one ad I have just seen online today, was really good. The availability is just horrible. It's still not available unlocked. it was like a month after the debut event. Some carriers have the V30+ exclusive, colors are dependent on the carrier. It's just a whole mess.

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