LG Electronics Inc. plays second fiddle to Samsung, its big brother in South Korea, but that hasn’t stopped the company from putting its stamp on the smartphone market. According to industry sources, LG’s smartphone sales grew more than 25 percent year-over-year in 2014, thanks in part to the success of the LG G3.
In 2014, the No. 2 tech company in South Korea shipped an estimated 59.6 million smartphone units, up 25.2 percent from the 47.6 million smartphone units shipped in 2013, according to sources speaking to The Korea Herald. LG, which entered the smartphone market in 2009, shipped 20 million smartphone units in 2011 and 26.3 million units in 2012, according to data from Strategy Analytics.
In the first half of 2014, LG announced that it sold a record-breaking 14.5 million smartphone units, a 20 percent year-over-year increase. The company credits the LG G3’s success in South Korea.
The article notes that industry watchers attribute LG’s strong smartphone sales in 2014 to the popularity of the G line of phones, which includes the G3, the G3 Stylus and the G3 Beat. Another reason for the company’s stellar year was the release of the LG Wine Smart, a flip phone with buttons connecting users directly to popular messaging platform KakaoTalk.
Despite the banner year, LG trails China-based Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Inc. However, the forecast for 2015 looks favorable for LG: “As Xiaomi and other Chinese players will see slowed earnings in the first half of this year, LG’s smartphone shares and profitability will improve,” an industry insider told The Korea Herald.
LG’s next major smartphone act features the curved G Flex 2, which is set to launch in South Korea on Jan. 30, with availability in the U.S. to come at an unspecified date. The LG G4 is expected to debut in May.