One of the recurring news themes of 2015 is how the major Android smartphone manufacturers sales figures are struggling. There are a number of reasons for this, including how the push towards better smartphone specifications is lost on many customers, who instead see a higher price for a tariff in 2015 compared with 2013 but a device that appears to do largely the same thing, or even worse for the manufacturers, a cheaper, mid-range device offering a similar specification to their 2013 flagship device but at significantly reduced cost. There are also two dominant names in the smartphone sphere: Apple and Samsung, and unfortunately for the other manufacturers, these businesses have significantly less market share. This is exactly where LG finds itself: it is offering technically competent, even compelling, mobile devices and smartphones and has one of the better 2015 flagship devices, but unfortunately it is living in the shadow of Apple and Samsung’s massive marketing budget. LG is also one of the few device manufacturers still turning in a modest profit per unit sale, which many of the Android manufacturers are not able to claim.
Now, LG have stated that with the launch of new devices, it is expecting to see an improvement of sales in the fourth quarter. LG’s mobile division chief, Cho Juno, explained to reporters at the new LG V10 press conference, that the company will use the new high end V10 Android smartphone, plus “mid-to-low tier products,” to boost market share. Cho did not give any particular sales targets or estimations, and instead it sounds like LG are hoping their new high end device will encourage sales. As such, LG’s bold statement repeats similar things spoken by other Android device manufacturers that they expect their new flagship model to improve sales, but this appears to ignore the decline in flagship Android flagship sales.
The V10 does have some innovative features, such as its small secondary screen working independently from the main 5.7-inch display. It is also slightly cheaper than arch rival Samsung’s large device, the Galaxy Note 5, so this could help steal sales, but from a dwindling pool of customers seeking to upgrade to a new flagship device. LG do have other tricks up their sleeves – they are the manufacturer of the new Google Nexus 5X, which is the more mid-range model of the two Nexus devices. The Nexus 5X is the successor device to the LG Google Nexus 5, which is the most popular Nexus smartphone to date thanks to a mix of a great device size and inexpensive pricing. Perhaps for LG to succeed, they need to boost their mid-range device portfolio and aim for those customers thinking of upgrading their 2013 flagship devices – the iPhone 5S, HTC One M7, Samsung Galaxy S4 or LG G2, and offer a similarly specified device at a great price?