According to PCMag, LG scored a win by making the LG G2 available to all 4 major carriers in US, but that didn’t come without paying a steep price for it – not being able to sell the same model on all these carriers.
We almost thought that the carriers will have stopped this nonsense of asking OEM’s to make custom models of their flagships, but apparently the carriers can still abuse OEM’s that aren’t already very strong in US in negotiations, and tell them they’ll only accept their phones if they make custom versions for each one of them.
This is most unfortunate for LG, because this sort of thing only happened to Samsung last time with the Galaxy S2, and even HTC and Motorola can sell the same model of their flagships across US, now. So it really does feel like the carriers saw LG was desperate to enter the US market in a big way with their new G2 flagship, so they decided to take full advantage of them.
The problem is this doesn’t even help carriers that much. If there are 4 different models of the LG G2, which will most likely have different names, too, then the marketing budget for the LG G2 will basically be split in 4, making the marketing campaigns a lot less effective, than they would’ve been if they all (LG and the carriers) put their money behind one single brand.
This is how the Galaxy S3 – and of course the iPhone – became very successful in US, but it seems the carriers haven’t learned their lesson, that this is actually hurting their ability to sell a device, not helping it. I suppose LG should’ve first released the device in Europe and Asia with a big splash, and then when the US carriers see it’s very popular, then they’ll want that exact same model that is popular – which would be the only model that exists.
This is how the Galaxy S3 did it, too. It had a lot of global hype before it even came out, and then it came out in Europe and Asia about 2 months before it started appearing in US. The popularity of the S3 globally definitely tipped the negotiation scale in Samsung’s favor. So if LG wants to really copy Samsung, they should be trying this strategy next time.