The annual smartphone race has apparently reached an end for LG, with Vice Chairman Cho Sung-jin confirming they will no longer release phones on a yearly basis, instead switching to a strategy of releasing phones ‘as needed’.
The announcement via the Korea Herald was in response to a query on the expected launch of the LG G7. The change in strategy won’t mean the end of the companies flagship G or V series phones, with a focus on new variants of these phones being released; with Mr Sung-jin saying ‘We plan to retain existing models longer by, for instance, unveiling more variant models of the G series or V series’.
The end of a yearly cycle of phone releases for LG comes in the face of declining profits for LG in their mobile business, as well as across the industry. LG is set to announce financial results for the October to December quarter shortly, which is again expected to fall short.
Mr Sung-jin also cited ‘the supply of lithium materials’ as a reason for slowing down their phone releases, he also said that LG found it ‘important to retain a good platform for a long (time)’, so it’s possible that LG will look to extend the software life of phones through updates beyond what they’ve offered previously.
There’s many benefits to a slowed release cycle, e-waste for one with the push for a new smartphone every year meaning more devices ending up in landfill. It’s also possible that it’s in response to the perception that the release of phones has become merely an iterative experience over the last few years with little to offer new phone customers.
Whatever the reasons, LG will be slowing their release schedule, but we should still see a release of the LG V7 at Mobile World Congress late next month.
Do you think LG releasing phones ‘as needed’ will improve their overall mobile strategy?