LG vows to make smartphone business profitable in 2021 with "wow factor"

LG vows to make smartphone business profitable in 2021 with
LG’s smartphone division has been in a constant downward spiral for years with falling sales and big losses. Over the past twelve months, though, it has slowly managed to reduce expenses and now the company has revealed when it expects the business to become profitable.

LG's betting on phones that have the "wow factor"


Speaking at a CES press conference in Las Vegas, chief executive Kwon Bong-Seok announced LG’s intention to develop its mobile division into a profitable business by the end of 2021. This will be achieved by expanding the lineup of devices on offer and releasing models with so-called “wow factors” attached.

The executive didn’t elaborate on the plans for an expanded lineup but they likely involve growing LG’s presence in the low-end and mid-range segments. After all, that’s where the company continues to perform best and the vast majority of market share lies.

As for the “wow factor” that was mentioned, it certainly seems as though this will be more related to software than hardware. After all, recent LG V60 ThinQ and G9 ThinQ leaks don’t point to anything very revolutionary on the company’s next flagships. 

Like rival Sony, LG was previously betting heavily on the introduction of 5G connectivity as a path back to growth. However, as market data shows, only Samsung has so far been able to capitalize on its arrival with shipments of around 7 million devices and a market share of almost 75%. 

This year, the company is once again expected to put a big emphasis on 5G. But unlike the LG V50 ThinQ 5G which debuted as one of the first compatible devices on the market, in 2020 virtually every flagship on the market and even many mid-range smartphones will support the networks, meaning LG will be relying heavily on those aforementioned “wow factors” to stand out from the competition.

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21 Comments

1. Cat97

Posts: 2026; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Eliminate the chin, the top bezel, make the phone smaller, bring back the notification LED and you will get the wow factor, LG.

2. User123456789

Posts: 1360; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Issues: 1) too many devices for a company that is having lower sales every every. No need to make more than 8. 2) too many variants of same flagship. Should be one G and one V. 3) bring pencil to V series 4) smaller bezel instead of notch, v30 had much better design

4. palmguy

Posts: 988; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

It is not wow factor. It is marking and people knowing you have a phone for sale.

14. TBomb

Posts: 1714; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

It's more than just marketing. I'd almost argue that marketing has very little impact on sales of smartphones nowadays. OEMs have created ecosystems where it's more of a hassle to leave than to just suck it up and stay there. People are resistant to change. It takes years of "being fed up" with an OEM before someone leaves, and by the time the ability comes (everyone is on payment plans with their phones), the person is "used to the problem and found a way to deal with it. If LG had infinite amount of money to market the phone, they still wouldn't just become #1 by the end o the year.

18. hjl2345

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

LG is one of the largest companies that manufacture a lot of things from fridges, batteries, displays so on and so on. Microsoft, the world's leading IT company with XBOX, cloud storage, windows and etc also had a massive marketing budget along with massive marketing campaigns, but it couldn't help their windows phones. It's not necessarily about the money, but if you think about how LG has tarnished their brands with bootloop lawsuits with their G4 and Nexus 5X, along with their horrible Thinq moniker, they kinda had it coming.

16. RoryBreaker

Posts: 305; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

It's totally marketing. Which is why Sammy spends so much...and wins!

5. HarysViewty

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

DualScreen on every phone

6. JcHnd

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Sounds like they're going the Motorola way.

7. bucknassty

Posts: 1400; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

wow factor could be price lol

8. Taphius

Posts: 109; Member since: Aug 20, 2018

Make a metal framed G2.

9. Sooraj2

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 11, 2015

2018: lg g7 thinq 2020: lg g9 wowfactor

10. inFla

Posts: 220; Member since: Aug 17, 2018

Add timely updates to the "wow factor".

20. ZARTAN99

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

This!

11. hjl2345

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

LG can really wow me if they will be the first android manufacturer to support their flagship devices for more than 3 major updates but I doubt it.

12. rsiders

Posts: 2038; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Why wait until next year LG? Do it now. :(

21. ZARTAN99

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

THIS!

13. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 114; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

2021? LOL. "Hey we are going to get our act together stay tuned and come back in a year" uhhhh nope

15. Zappo

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

The Nexus 4 and the G2 had the wow factor.

17. foldablephone

Posts: 78; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

The boring LG “ThinQ” mobile brand is dead. They would be far better licensing a brand/tech that had a USP and market that. For example the way that Huawei signed the Leica deal helped them stand out in Europe/West. Maybe team up with a high end Speaker company like Bose and offer front facing speakers. Or maybe sign a deal with Amazon to release an Alexa/Echo phone. They should also consider bringing back some of their classics like the LG Cookie. That little phone (wasn’t so little at the time) had a huge community who would modify the OS. Whatever they do, they need to end this me too (Motorola) approach. I feel like after the hurt of trying something different with the G5 (modular design) they gave up. Come on LG, get back in the game!

19. hjl2345

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 11, 2018

I agree. They should pull a Motorola and go for nostalgia. That could get them some much needed media attention, but then again, all of LG phone's quirks needs to be ironed out. Inconsistent or a lack of promise for software updates along with hardware issues (although this is quite finished, but they need to make up for the past somehow) should be their priority. Give us a phone that does something better than the competition. Their quad DAC is really great, but smartphones are slowly but surely embracing the wireless trend. Make something that is within the core experience of a smartphone and do it better than the competition.

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