LG continues to lose money selling smartphones
LG has reported its third quarter earnings, and for the three month period that covers July through September, the mobile division took a loss of $331.17 million. With red ink staring it in the face, the manufacturer focused on the 8% gain year-over-year in mobile revenue, and the 4% revenue gain from this year's second quarter. The loss was actually 13% smaller than last year's red ink. In South Korea, third quarter smartphone shipments were up 44% from the 2016 total. In the states, shipments of intelligent handsets rose 9% year-over-year.
Make no mistake about it though; times are tough for LG's handset business. In the third quarter of 2014, LG sold 16.8 million smartphones. That figure was reduced to 13.7 million for this year's Q3, a decline of 18.4% over three years. The problem appears to be malnutrition. Malnutrition? Yup, Samsung is eating LG's lunch in the flagship market. Of course, the ill fated attempt to produce a modular flagship phone with the LG G5 didn't help LG's cause. Neither did having Samsung snap up all available Snapdragon 835 chips forcing the LG G6 to use the Snapdragon 821 SoC instead.
The same thing is expected to repeat with the LG G7 as Samsung is expected to get first dibs on the Snapdragon 845 chipset for next year's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Unless LG can come up with something for the LG G7 that is unique and appeals to smartphone buyers, the 2018 numbers will be just as gloomy.