South Korea not embracing the LG G4, which could spell trouble for LG’s financials

LG G4 Phone
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

The LG G4 was first released in South Korea on April 29. So it’s been almost three months since LG’s flagship was available in the company’s homeland. Unfortunately, according to a report coming out of the region, the phone isn’t selling, which could put a damper on LG’s financial prospects for 2015.

According to the report, LG managed to sell just north of 240,000 G4 units in South Korea. Even though that’s not a terrible number on its own, keep in mind that Samsung has sold 1.3 million Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge units in South Korea so far, even though Samsung’s and LG’s flagships were released only weeks apart. According to the unnamed source, the sluggish sales created a “very serious situation” for the company, without elaborating on what that would mean.

The bad news doesn’t end there for LG, either. Sources indicated that LG planned to sell 70 million smartphones worldwide by the end of 2015. Due to the G4 struggling to sell in LG’s home turf, however, observers are beginning to wonder whether the G4 is also underperforming in international markets.

That question begins to grow when you take into account analysts recently cutting LG’s Q2 earnings estimates due to shipments coming in at just under 2.5 million units. In addition, analysts lowered their projected figures for LG’s mobile division by a significant margin, with Daishin Securities lowering estimates from $92.3 million to $50.7 million. Meanwhile, Korea Investment & Securities also dropped its forecasts, from $104 million to $61 million.

There could be a myriad of reasons why the G4 might not be performing up to snuff, the biggest of which likely being the way Samsung stepped up its game with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Other reasons include the possibility that consumers are waiting for LG’s second flagship of the year, or that the G4 wasn’t enough of an improvement from the G3 to warrant a purchase. Regardless, it’s becoming increasingly likely that LG might not sell 70 million smartphones this year.