LG is hoping for a miracle from their new LG G6 smartphone as they're still reeling from their mobile phone division's $416.4 million loss during the Q4 2016, which is their seventh consecutive quarterly loss in a row. Sales of the LG G5 never amounted to what you would expect from a new flagship device as many people were turned off by LG's innovative modular design. This fourth quarter loss comes even after they launched their new premium LG V20 in October in the US. When it comes to lower-end smartphones, LG is getting crushed by the cheaper Chinese vendors overseas.
What makes matters worse for LG is that the release of the LG G6 comes just at the right time when Samsung is in the process of rebuilding their image with the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. However, the graph below, which shows the customers that 'ported' over to a new phone in South Korea, is a good indicator how many LG G6s were sold. Two days before its official launch, about 30,000 LG G6's were sold, and they peaked at 23,292 and then dropped to an average of 11, 755 over the next three days. Sales in the US begin on April 7, and LG is waiting to see how well the LG G6 sells in the states. So far, it seems as though it will be met with a chilly reception.
Investors still believe that LG will lose money in the first quarter of 2017, just not as much money. As sales of the LG G6 continue through the second quarter, it will be interesting to see what kind of profit or losses are reported. Analysts at Daishin Securities are predicting that 400,000 units will sell during the first quarter and up to 1.7 million units through the first half of the year. One of the keys will be how well the LG G6 sells in the US and Europe.
The new LG G6 is a complete makeover from its predecessor, the LG G5. The G5 introduced us to LG's version of a modular smartphone – the biggest problem with it was that the modules literally slide up inside the device and the modules were expensive. It seemed like a very good idea, but its execution did not offer the best solution. Even after promising that the modules would work for at least three years worth of designs, LG abruptly did an 180 and redesigned it into the LG G6. However, the LG G6 is showing a few signs of its age already by using the Snapdragon 821 that came out in the latter part of 2016 rather than using the newer Snapdragon 835. One of the highlights of the LG phones has always been a removable battery, and now that feature was scrubbed to make way for an IP68 certification. The all-metal design has given way to an all-glass design, but that allowed LG to add wireless charging to the package. While the LG G6 is a nice looking and solid package, it offers nothing exceptional that might increase sales or take people's minds off of the LG G5 from last year or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus.