[THE INVESTOR] The next flagship smartphone from LG Electronics is set for release in the first half of 2018, according to the top executive of LG‘s mobile division.
At Mobile World Congress 2018, LG did not roll out a new flagship smartphone as Samsung did with its Galaxy S9, but rather introduced new artificial intelligence capabilities on its V30S.
According to Hwang Jeong-hwan, who heads up the mobile business at LG, the company’s focus now is on improving core competitiveness.
Hwang Jeong-hwan, head of LG Electronics‘ mobile communications, speaks to reporters at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (LG Electronics)
“In terms of the timing of our new model, we won‘t be chasing our competition. There were many differing opinions on whether this was the right time to release our new model,” said Hwang at MWC in his first meeting with the press since he took office in November last year.
There had been many rumors about LG’s strategy in the mobile division, which continues to see losses and faltering sales relative to its competition.
Hwang said that he was looking to take the mobile business in a new direction and system, to create a “structure that allows sustainable profits.”
Reports have said that the G7 -- the industry‘s working name for the next flagship -- had been sent back to the drawing board, with even a brand name change potentially in the works.
“Changing the name of our premium phone represents an overhaul of our brand. We have maintained our G, V naming strategy and changing that requires us to have confidence in presenting that to our customers, and for us to have planned it in advance. Some say that we need to change our brand now, but we won’t act prematurely,” Hwang said.
In speaking about the new premium model, Hwang promised a phone that was upgraded in both software and hardware, but that offered a reasonable price.
“Starting with the V30, we have been choosing more reasonable prices. Relative to previous models, newer phones have more memory, and the prices may reflect that. But we won‘t be raising prices because of unnecessary features that our customers don’t use,” he said.
LG‘s future phones will emphasize quality in smartphones’ most basic functions to regain the trust of consumers, according to Hwang.
“Rather than claiming that our phones are innovative, we will regain trust by making phones that our customers can use without inconvenience ... from low-end products to premium products, we will be focusing on the basics of quality.”
By Won Ho-jung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)