LG announced a new overhaul to their lineup called the LG Velvet the first in a new line of phones that emphasizes design over specs. This will replace the LG G series breaking with its tradition of alphanumeric names for its devices, in favor of familiar and expressive names.
LG has always been one of the big phone brands, especially in North America, but recently, things haven’t been going great for the company. In 2014 LG’s smartphone division was enjoying record-breaking sales, they were one of the biggest phone manufacturers by global market share and Around the same time, the company was one of the top 3 in the United States. But Sadly, it was all downhill from there. LG’s decline was so drastic, the company’s market share is now measured with a “0.” in front of the number.
So, what caused that dreadful collapse? In short, competition. But there’s one bigger reason why I think LG is tumbling down on its way to irrelevance and it’s the price. You see despite posting underwhelming smartphone sales figures one quarter after the other, as a result of customers’ diminishing trust in the brand, LG refused to make adjustments in one of the aspects that matter the most: price.
Without having anything exciting to offer and differentiate itself from the competition, LG could have tried to win over some of its lost user base by offering quality flagship phones at a lower price. Instead, it kept up with the trend of inflating prices without backing them up with cool features that could get people’s attention. I mean A Quad DAC will do more to make someone google what it means than convince them to buy a smartphone. And yeah. there’s one more reason and it’s their branding.
You see LG decided to slap its smart appliances branding “ThinQ” to the names of its recent flagship smartphones as well. This was meant to signal how your phone will easily work with your LG fridge or washing machine thanks to LG’s AI technology. Instead, it only added confusion. I mean It’s still not even clear how the ThinQ brand name is supposed to be pronounced. Anyway, it seems they are learning from their mistakes because today they have announced something brand new for its Android smartphones.
LG has officially announced the “LG Velvet,” the first in a new line of phones that emphasizes design over specs. Also breaking with its tradition of alphanumeric names for its devices, in favor of familiar and expressive names. Also, LG has shown the design sketches of this new phone.
As you can see the design will be different from LG’s other smartphones, which includes a “raindrop” camera design with smaller lenses and an LED flash below the larger main camera, which is a departure from the current trend among smartphones to have big camera bumps. I really appreciate LG for standing out with a more elegant and different design rather than joining the ridiculous trend of including a big camera abomination at the back.
LG is also touting a “3D arc design” with curved glass on the front and back of the device, as well as the new phone’s “tactile elegance.” LG explains that the decision to design Velvet came from the sea of smartphones that are all essentially the same on the spec sheet. While it’s obviously not mentioned in the press release, this slightly implies that reports of LG’s next device using a lower-end Snapdragon 765G could be true which is perfectly fine as long as this device is sub $600 or $700 at max.
Now the question is is this going to save LG’s mobile division. You see right now One key issue is that all phone technology is now pretty good. Innovation is incremental. So if your two-year-old device is still working perfectly, the incentive to fork out a substantial sum for a new but not so much different phone is small, certainly much smaller than five years ago, when phones improved in leaps and bounds.
As a result, pretty much all premium smartphone brands are now struggling. LG, Sony, and HTC’s handset units have all failed to turn a profit or see any growth for several years – and it will likely be really tough for them to turn things around unless innovation makes a new leap or there is a shakeup in the industry. But I see potential here, LG is accepting the fact that they cannot compete with Samsung and Huawei in terms of specs and that’s a great thing.
Because like I’ve mentioned earlier, one of the biggest reasons for their failure is they don’t have anything exciting to offer and differentiate themselves from the competition and as a result, fewer people are willing to pay over $1000 for an LG device. But now they are doing something right, something different by offering premium build with upper midrange specs for an affordable price and I hope this strategy works for them and this LG Velvet marks the beginning of a new era for this South Korean company.
That said, let me know what do you think about this down in the comments and as always I’ll see you tomorrow…Peace out!