The reasons why LG Mobile shut down despite the unique design of the smartphones


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By July 2021, the world may finally say goodbye to LG Electronics Inc. global mobile division. Then they are it is expected to be mastered, although sales of their devices and spare parts will continue for stocks that are still available on the market.

Reports earlier this year he had already predicted the closure of the department after nearly 6 consecutive years of losses amounting to about $ 4.5 billion.

LG Mobile made a profit for the last time 2014, and at that time were considered one of the world ‘s best manufacturers of smartphones with a breakthrough design.

It started well

The smartphone market has always been fiercely competitive, but LG has in a way been a strong competitor thanks to its risk-taking nature.

2011 was decisive for LG when it entered the Guinness World Record after its Optimus 2X was the world’s first dual-core phone available to the public (announced and published).

Admittedly, there were problems with its OS, but users who adopted it were more than happy to overlook its shortcomings. This would also set the tone for LG’s adventurous spirit when it came to their phones.

LG’s first G-series smartphone, the Optimus G, was already considered better than Samsung’s and HTC’s leading phone efforts at the time, but LG further achieved this with the 2013 G2.

It had a larger battery than competitors Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One M7, and its camera supported 1080p / 60fps recording before Samsung. In the same year, their Optimus L4 was also the first smartphone with three SIM cards on the market.

In 2015, the G4 put a leather back on some variants, a feature that Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have copied since then. It also had a microSD extension and a removable battery, and the latter is a feature that LG would have in several of its future smartphones.

It hit a certain group of users because it allowed them to replace and charge an empty battery on the go via “cradles“LG also sold.

One of the most talked about LG smartphones in history is perhaps the V20, launched in 2016. It is the first of LG’s smartphones to offer Quad DAC, a system that has improved port sound quality.

V20 with removable battery

It would become a major feature of LG smartphones, making them popular with audiophiles, DJs and musicians.

Other revolutionary and unique smartphone designs that LG has come up with over the years include LG G Flex, the world ‘s first flexible smartphone, the V40 with its five cameras (another first in the world for LG) and LG dual screen case.

When competitors were looking for foldable phones, LG took a different route and instead offered users an optional second screen that they could plug and unplug from their V50, G8x and V60.

So … What happened?

In the first quarter of 2014, LG revealed that they had sold more than 5 million LTE-enabled smartphones, 79% more than they had sold in the entire previous year.

It was an all-time record then, and they said they sent them in total 12.3 million smartphones in the first quarter of the year ..

Not to mention, until then, the company also had a fairly portfolio of smartphones at different prices, which made them an affordable choice for many.

But a few major problems would start to plague the company’s mobile line and lead to them losing sales in an instant.

1) Problems with Bootloop that have undermined customer confidence

LG’s then-leading G4 phone was in 2015 bootloop problems, a hardware problem that causes the phone to enter an endless restart cycle. Affected users were forced to seek service centers and were given replacement G4s, but unfortunately many replacements faced the same problems with bootloop.

This understandably shattered customer trust, and perhaps even brand trust, and LG settled in 2018 collective action due to bootloop problems, 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 implementations fell through

LG WING in action / Picture of merit: LG video on CES2021

LG, which ever wanted to provide users with a different experience, started experimenting modular smartphones. They made it possible to connect various accessories to the bottom of the G5, which were supposed to provide additional functionality.

However, the modules were limited in number and usefulness, so they were unpopular with consumers as well.

3) Extremely slow for major software updates

The company has bad record providing users with major software updates on time, even for their flagship devices. They have actually admitted this many times and said they will develop a department that will speed things up.

In 2018, we saw that achieved with theirs Software upgrade division, however, 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 ad for LG smartphones? For me, that would have been many, many years ago, mostly in movie theaters during those 20-minute commercials.

Compared to other smartphone brands like Samsung and Apple, LG has never managed to pull everything off when it comes to shouting the launch of a new phone. This has caused their launches to usually fly under the radar, until something unique or unusual is highlighted in the reviews.

Unfortunately, one or two prominent features were never enough to convince consumers to make a purchase.

5) They were often the first, but rarely the best

LG V60 with dual case / Image Credit: GadgetMatch’s review of the LG V60 on YouTube

One of LG’s strengths was their experimental attitude to create unique designs, but something they lacked was belief develop them at their peak.

This made them the first to launch many of the then unique designs that have since been picked up faster and improved by other brands.

Take for example the extremely wide camera function and their frameless initial pressure with the G2, both functions that their competitors have made popular.

– // –

Clearly, while other brands preferred the path of safer improvements through iteration, LG always preferred to try something new or radical.

Unfortunately, the mass market did not always appreciate their innovative moves, leading to slower adoption and sales. Early adopters cannot maintain the brand.

Although the mainstream market would look back at LG smartphones and wonder, “Why would we need something like that at all?”, A group of users who remain ardent LG fans would respond, “But why not?”

  • You can also read our other sections related to business failures here.


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