There was a time when LG was among the top three smartphone companies in the world. However, somewhere along the way, the South Korean company lost its plot and its smartphones were no longer seen as innovative enough to compete with those of its compatriot Samsung's.
Or for that matter, even with the new block of Chinese smartphone companies such as OnePlus and Huawei. But LG, despite its smartphone business incurring huge losses year after year, does not seem to give up.
LG's loss-making smartphone business
LG is currently sailing in the same boat as two other big smartphone companies from the past: HTC and Sony. These three tech giants once competed with Apple and Samsung, and now they are in the red. In the last quarter, LG's smartphone sales dropped by another 21 percent, and the company suffered a loss of $268 million.
Nevertheless, the Korean technology giant still has a very profitable display business and electronic appliances business to cover the huge losses that its smartphone business makes.
Phones are good but lack appeal
It would not be fair to say that LG's phones in the past two years were bad. It is just that they were not exciting enough to attract buyers. The LG G7 ThinQ was a really good phone but it did not quite stack up that well against the Galaxy S9/Note 9 or the iPhone X. LG's last smartphone, the LG G8 ThinQ, which has a few variants like G8X and G8S, despite its hand motion sensing features and dual-screen, is not compelling enough.
To make matters worse, LG's upcoming G9 flagship just showed up recently in leaked renders. And well, it looks uninteresting and forgettable because of the mid-range design.
Many experts have also blamed LG's marketing for its phones failing to connect with buyers. Perhaps, LG needs to learn a thing or two from its compatriot Samsung, which has a huge marketing budget and some very innovative smartphones to go along.
LG will make a comeback in 2021
Nevertheless, LG is now looking confident and has promised that it will make a great comeback in 2021. The company has said that its smartphone business is going to be profitable by the end of 2021 and that it will launch phones with a "wow factor" in order to attract customers.
LG's CEO, Kwon Bong-Seok, said at the on-going CES 2020 event, "LG Electronics mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021. I can say we can make that happen as LG Electronics will expand our mobile lineup and steadily release new ones attached with some wow factors to woo customers."
However, he did not mention any specific smartphones or lineups, nor has he hinted at what the "wow factors" could be. It is a known fact that LG's mobile division is not doing well in the global markets but the company is relying heavily on its performance in its home market of South Korea where its 5G smartphones are among the best sellers. Nonetheless, it is good to see LG showing some confidence and ambition for the future of its smartphone business, and we hope to see LG get back in the game very soon.