Who will be the next LG mobile phone curtain call?

Don’t worry about LG’s second-generation rotating screen (LGwing) or the mysterious Rollable screen. In the spring of 2021, LG mobile phones will officially call for a curtain call.

On April 5, LG Electronics officially announced that it will stop production and sales of mobile phones on July 31, 2021. LG called the move “a strategic decision to exit the highly competitive mobile phone industry.” At the same time, the official also stated that this also means that the company can fully concentrate its superior resources in growth areas, such as its more advantageous series of new markets: “electric vehicle parts, connected devices, smart homes, robots, artificial intelligence, B2B solutions Solutions and platforms and services.”

You can think of this as LG’s broken arm, or as a curve to save the country by the mobile phone giant (once).

What about LG old users?
In the statement, LG revealed that it will “use its mobile expertise to develop 6G and other mobile-related technologies” because most users around the world have begun to use 5G mobile phones.

Although LG said that it will not release any new smartphones, it will sell all remaining mobile phone inventory through existing channels. Therefore, if you want to find a LG Wing, you can still pay attention to the online store.

For the few iron fans who are loyal to LG mobile phones (mainly in the North American market), it is impossible for them to see the legendary LG V70 ThinQ, LG G10 or LG Velvet 2 products. After all, LG will shut down the entire product in 3 months. Mobile business unit. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that the iron fans will see the Rollable that LG will release at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show and confirm it will be released.

The good news is that if old users still have a newer LG mobile phone in their hands, or want to buy an LG V60 or LG Velvet, they will still have the opportunity to enjoy some of the services provided by LG. At present, LG mobile phone inventory will continue to be sold overseas offline channels and online, and existing LG mobile phone customers will continue to receive after-sales service support.

The so-called follow-up support service mentioned here means that after exiting the smartphone business, LG will continue to provide Android operating system updates for some devices-including upgrading to Android 12. But to be honest, some past records of LG’s mobile phone business have made many users worry about whether it can stick to the end.

For LG mobile phones that withdrew from the Chinese market in 2018, Chinese users should not be too concerned about their after-sales commitments, but some overseas developers found a paragraph on LG Korea’s official website, “Android 12 operating system will be selected Models offer upgrades.” The content of this page also emphasizes that this may change based on product performance, and update availability may vary from region to region.

Old users who are familiar with LG mobile phones should remember that even before deciding to withdraw from the mobile phone business, LG was not very reliable in terms of updates. Including the quality worries of its mobile phone products after 2015, in fact, it has been the focus of criticism by users.

Among them, even some flagship models are not very reliable in system updates, and operating system upgrades are also very slow. In 2018, LG tried to solve this problem by setting up a software upgrade department, but when the Android 9 Pie update was provided in early 2019, users found that there was still not much change in this area.

LG USA did not disclose more details in an interview with overseas media, but said that “the company may provide specific operating system upgrades for certain models” and that “more details of software upgrades will be provided in the near future.” At present, the update of its Android 11 version has not yet been confirmed in the US market.

If LG can deliver on the promise of Android 12, it is expected that it will only appear on a few high-profile flagship models, such as Wing and V60. Moreover, since the Android 11 update will only appear on more LG phones later, even if the 12 upgrade does arrive, users may have to go through a long wait.

Why are you unable to return to heaven?
LG mobile phones withdrew from the stage of history, more reasons are the “chicken ribs” of this business.

By the end of 2020, its share of the global mobile phone market is estimated to be about 1.7%. Not only is it tasteless, but it has been losing money for nearly six years, with a loss of up to 4.5 billion US dollars.

There may be a few iron fans who remember that in 2008, LG became the third largest mobile phone brand in the world, with annual shipments of 100.7 million units (second only to Nokia and Samsung), and it was even more successful after the launch of the “chocolate” mobile phone KG90. unlimited. At that time, the price of this mobile phone was more than 600 dollar, and nearly 600,000 units were sold in China within one year of its launch, and this laid the foundation for LG’s vast user base in the Chinese market.

Perhaps, the hidden dangers of LG mobile phones are also buried this year.

Let’s review several bold innovations that LG mobile phones have brought to the global market-and the reasons for their failures. Aside from the old saying that still despised Android and embraced the Windows Mobile system in 2010, there was a time when this was an industry giant that had the courage to challenge the limits of smartphone design-a better selfie camera (LG V10), which pursued ultra-superiority more than other brands. Wide camera (LG G6), and the LG V30 with innovative camera control (but eventually surpassed by other companies).

Including communication with consumers, there are also many extraordinary innovations that are too persistent and not recognized by users, such as modular mobile phones (LG G5), flexible displays (LG G Flex 2), leather back panels (LG G4), patterns Hundreds of motion sensors (LG G8) and dual screens (LG G8X), etc., were ultimately not recognized by users.

Especially after withdrawing from the Chinese market, in key regions such as North America, Samsung and Apple have been holding LG on the side, and LG has never had the competitive strength to provide more favorable prices at the operator level. LG mobile phones gained the favor of many young users with very popular models such as LG G2 in 2010, but in the end, its mobile phones could not stand out from the crowd.

For example, the seemingly trendy LG Wing 5G and the dual-screen experiment of LG G8X/LG V60 have not attracted consumers as much as the foldable phones of Samsung and Huawei. Although LG Electronics CEO Quan Bangxi promised last year to reverse the company’s fate by 2021, LG’s Velvet and Wing models have not been favored by the majority of users.

Obviously, in the high-end market, the attractiveness of dual-screen phones (and the prospect of scrollable displays) is not enough to motivate consumers to part ways with the market-leading Apple and Samsung. In the mid- and low-end markets, many domestic brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus continue to compress their market share in overseas markets. Although data from market research company Canalys last year showed that LG is still the third in the United States. The most popular smartphone supplier is second only to Apple and Samsung.

Since the second quarter of 2015, the business began to lose money. LG mobile phone has been losing money for 23 consecutive quarters. By December last year, the transaction request to sell the mobile phone business had “hanged out” on the wall of the Korean electronics giant’s office. As its share of the global mobile phone market dropped to about 1.7%, LG began to outsource the design of more mid- and low-end mobile phones to third parties. And a few months ago, it tried to break into the field of low-end 5G mobile phones with the $400 K92, which was the last struggle.

As losses continue to increase and billions of dollars are wasted on quirky and creative phone models, the smartphone giant finally raised the white flag.

Who will be the next brand?
In an interview with overseas media recently, Ken Hong, head of LG’s global corporate communications, said: “The departure of the LG brand from the mobile field may disappoint some people, but we are in an industry where adjustments and adjustments are crucial. Do what is in the best interests of employees and shareholders.” “As other well-known telephone brands have shown before us, this is a digital game, not a popularity contest.”

Obviously, LG has struggled for a long time. Last month, local Korean media reported that LG had hoped to sell its mobile phone business to Volkswagen in Germany or Vingroup JSC in Vietnam, but the discussion ended in failure. According to a report from Nikkei Asia, LG was unable to improve the capabilities of its smartphone business, mainly due to the impact of global semiconductor storage. Unlike its main domestic competitor, Samsung, LG does not produce its own smartphone chipsets, and the limited supply means that the company has been working hard to ensure that future mobile devices have sufficient supply of semiconductor materials.

LG has two points worth noting: First, LG will continue to use its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies, such as 6G, to help further enhance its competitiveness in other business areas; it is the second aspect of LG’s mobile business operations. The core technology developed in the past ten years will also be retained and applied to existing and future products in the future.

Judging from this statement and market status, there are too many similarities with another or another type of well-known mobile phone brand, which is Sony (including Kyocera and Sharp) in Japan.

Since 2015, LG’s mobile division has been losing money and has failed to compete with Apple and Samsung phones in the high-end market. Similarly, the once brilliant Japanese mobile phone represents Sony, and its mobile business has been plagued by losses for a long time.

With Apple and Samsung mobile phones unable to compete in the high-end market, Sony began to focus on the niche market of more than 100,000 yen, which is dominated by professional users. In recent years, Sony has bet on the “Xperia” brand, and in addition to the domestic market, its overseas sales areas are only selected in Europe and some Asian countries. At the same time, the budget has been drastically reduced, and various promotional activities have basically been stalled.

According to media reports, Sony’s mobile business after such compression may be profitable in fiscal year 2020 (as of March 2021). But from a certain point of view, what is the meaning and value of such a “living” and looking forward to the heavenly opportunities after the arrival of 5G or even 6G?

Similar to Sony choosing to bet on the “Xperia” brand to focus on niche markets, LG is also trying to make a high-end mobile phone stand out among many Android flagship phones, including modular phones, dual-screen smartphones and rotatable displays. Cell phone. It turns out that they all failed completely. In fact, Sony once wanted to make efforts in the mid-range market, but it stopped decisively after a few trials. Similarly, LG has failed to gain a competitive advantage in the mid-range and entry-level mobile phone market, especially in this area, where more and more Chinese smartphone brands are launching more cost-effective mobile phone models.

LG, Sony, Kyocera and other Android phone manufacturers have all taken frequent actions, but the pursuit of high returns also comes with many risks. These Japanese and Korean mobile phone brands have never successfully launched real mainstream products after the arrival of the smartphone boom. In the Chinese market, Huami OV has occupied the main market for Android phones. In overseas markets, most users choose Apple, Samsung or Xiaomi, OPPO, OnePlus and other Chinese brands, in this situation-LG is finally out.

So, will the Japanese mobile phone brands, including Sony, continue to play “Others” in the global market, or will they stay in a safe place and hold their own one-third of an acre and slowly suffer?

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