It’s been a tough past few years for LG Mobile, which constantly showed promise with its outside the box-thinking flagship smartphones, never quite connecting with consumers however on Samsung, Apple or even Huawei’s levels.
A flurry of budget-focused Chinese OEMs also grew their global shipment numbers at a staggering pace, crucially contributing to LG’s shrinking slice of both the industry’s sales and profits pie.
The chaebol’s mobile division is expected to lose money for its 11th consecutive quarter when confirming Q4 2017 financial results, with a new president and CEO in charge of devising a strategy to somehow turn the slowly sinking ship around.
A simple rebranding of the company’s main high-end family probably won’t do, so the name of the game is streamlining. A smaller product portfolio doesn’t sound like the best way to boost volume, but it could improve profitability, which has to be the top priority of any business.
No more launching refreshed hero devices “just because other rivals do”, according to LG Electronics Vice Chairman Cho Sung-jin at CES 2018, as “we will unveil new smartphones when it is needed” only.
We can’t help but wonder if a G7 is truly “needed” this spring, or if a new variant of the existing G6 should be expected instead by the end of March. Either way, LG definitely plans to release fewer phones in the future, aiming to “retain a good platform for a long (time).”
Interestingly, while Cho was announcing this strategy change in Las Vegas, serial mobile leaker Evan Blass discovered trademarks for possible LG Icon and LG Iconic smartphone and smartwatch rollouts later in the year.
Of course, just because LG is considering using these names, it doesn’t mean there are actually two such products in the pipeline. But there could be.