Amid strong local competition, LG bows out of Chinese smartphone market

lg v30
Julian Chokkattu
There’s no shame in backing out of a losing battle, and saving your strength to fight again or concentrate on other areas is an admirable strategic move. It’s been clear that LG were not too fussed about pushing into the Chinese smartphone marketplace, having last brought out the LG G5 SE in China, and failing to bring a single model to Chinese shores in 2017. Despite having built up an admirable arsenal of good smartphones in the last year, LG has confirmed that it will no longer be trying to push its brand in China.

Speaking to China Business (via Sohu), LG blamed strong local competition for the move, with brands such as Huawei and Xiaomi (among various others) offering great devices at a fraction of the price that LG were able to offer its smartphones for. In fact, sales of Chinese smartphones continue to grow worldwide as companies like Huawei continue to push and innovate, offering great devices that rival established brands.

But LG’s failure was clearly not all about the competition. As Sohu points out, LG either could not or did not attempt to compete with the local brands, essentially sealing its doom. Globally, LG’s mobile division is not doing well either, with 2016’s LG G5 being blamed for that year’s lackluster sales performance — a trend that unfortunately continued into 2017, with sales of the LG G6 being poor, despite the warm reception from critics. That, again, led to losses being recorded in Q4 of 2017.

LG has also had to deal with damage to its major smartphone brands after the infamous “bootloop” bug caused many of its top flagships to “brick” — or become useless lumps of plastic and metal. This issue recently culminated with LG agreeing to pay either a refund or a rebate for a future LG device — but the damage to consumer trust even in established markets was severe.

LG must be hoping its run of bad luck will end with the LG G7, and while the company has backed out of revealing its new flagship at MWC 2018, it will be showing off the upgraded LG V30+ at the show. But with profits down, and interest in LG’s mobile brand seemingly down across the board, backing out of the Chinese market seems like the least LG can do to try and minimize losses and weather the storm.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Mobile

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Mobile

Love music? For audiophiles, the LG G8 ThinQ may be the best phone ever made

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

OnePlus breaks into the top five among U.S. smartphone companies

We've been impressed with the value offered by OnePlus phones for years, but in 2018 the Chinese manufacturer really stepped things up. After impressive sales, OnePlus broke into the top five U.S. smartphone companies in the high-end…
Mobile

Will new Vivo-owned brand Iqoo specialize in cutting-edge phones?

A new smartphone brand has launched. It's called Iqoo, and it's a sub-brand of Vivo, the Chinese device manufacturer owned by BBK Electronics. The company has not revealed its first smartphones yet
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.