LG stopped making mobile phones? How come another giant has fallen behind

You may not have used it, but the South Korean manufacturer LG, which you must have heard of, has officially announced that it will not make mobile phones.

On April Fool's Day, there was an inconspicuous little news that caught my attention-"LG will withdraw from the smartphone business". It reminded me of this manufacturer that has disappeared from our sight. LG hasn't made any major moves for a while.

Yonhap News reported that LG stated on April 5 that it would withdraw from the mobile business after years of loss-making performance in the context of intensified competition with larger rivals. LG said that the gradual closure of the mobile phone business is expected to be completed before July 31 this year, after which some existing model inventory may still be sold. From the outside world, LG will make such a decision sooner or later.

The reason for not selling is because there are still disagreements with the potential acquirer on patents. Despite the poor performance of LG's mobile phone business, years of technology accumulation have enabled it to hold a considerable number of patents. Nokia, which has long been declared "dead," is still earning huge revenues by relying on patent licenses. Therefore, for LG, the mobile phone business is "dispensable", but the patent is "not to be abandoned."

And the mobile business that has been losing money for many years, instead of continuing to waste money, it is better to just give up.

Although the current situation is not good, the LG mobile phone "ancestors" is also too wide

In fact, LG has recently released mobile phones, but it is only the entry-oriented W41 series models, using the 12nm process MediaTek G35 processor. This kind of performance mobile phone has no room for survival in China, and of course it is certainly not for the domestic market. Even in overseas markets, this product cannot make any waves.

But many years ago, LG was also one of the mobile phone giants. It was called the "Shuangxiong of Korea" with Samsung. At that time, it sold its products to the world together with many Japanese and Korean manufacturers. But now LG's market share can only be reduced to Others, not only "no one cares" in the country, even in South Korea, sales are poor, and the current market share is estimated to be less than 1%.

Many young people have not actually used LG mobile phones, but it was a brand that swept the country more than a decade ago.

In the era of feature phones, mobile phones are only used as a communication tool, far from being as homogeneous as today's smart phones. The "Chocolate" launched by LG mobile phones in 2005, with its light touch and exquisite design, as well as Hyun Bin and Kim Tae Hee's extremely brainwashed TVC, captured the hearts of countless boys and girls. How many people have saved money just to buy it. This "blushing when you touch it" KG90.

Although the KG90 is not the first slider phone on the market, the red backlit touch buttons are highly recognizable, which once made this model LG's main shipping force. The global sales of a single model alone exceeded 3 million. For a mobile phone with a price of more than 4,000 yuan, this is already an amazing sales volume, not to mention that it was fifteen years ago.

Leveraging on the great success of "chocolate", LG later continued to introduce new "desserts", clamshell type "ice cream", which is also very popular in the market. However, when the era of smartphones started, LG stood on the wrong team and cooperated with the three major operators in China to carry the OMS system. However, such a system that is no different from a functional machine is still far behind the times, and it was quickly abandoned by the market. At this time, another LG betting partner, Windows Moblie, also "lives up to expectations" and lags far behind Android and iOS, and LG, which finally switched to Android, has missed the opportunity.

After getting the right direction, LG, which showed its "real strength", has also launched some classic products, the world's first dual-core mobile phone LG Optimus 2X and the world's first quad-core mobile phone LG Optimus 4X HD.

But perhaps the most impressive thing is the classic G2. One reason is that before the launch of the LG G2, LG had not launched a new model in the domestic market at that time for nearly a year, but it was very popular overseas, so many domestic digital enthusiasts are already looking forward to this machine. Type for a long time. The other reason is that the G2's product power is indeed very good. The G2's ultra-narrow bezel of 2.65mm at the time also made it a larger screen, reaching 5.2 inches while the size of the Samsung Galaxy S4 was almost the same. To describe it in current words, the "screen-to-body ratio" is higher.

Then the G3 and G5 have also repeatedly innovated. Whether it is the first to achieve 2K resolution, or to try modularization, equipped with ultra-wide-angle lenses, they are all at the forefront of the market. Many of these routes have also proved to be very forward-looking, high-screen Occupation ratio, 2k resolution and ultra-wide-angle lens have all become the "standard equipment" of today's mobile phones.

The "Technology Tree" is often crooked, and the product manager's brains are really big

In the same year as LG G2, the G series added a new product: LG G Flex with concave curved screen.

The dismal sales of this phone is also expected. Although it has the industry's top technical level and the most advanced materials, the product manager may not have a clear idea of ​​what kind of person would need such a "bent" phone, but this It's just LG's first attempt to open up a new track for smartphones.

After three years, while the global mobile phones are "integrating", LG has made another attempt to "modularize", and for the first time equipped a mobile phone with an ultra-wide-angle lens.

However, later "ultra wide-angle" became the standard configuration of all smart phones, but "modularity" failed to wait for its spring.

But this is indeed a direction for the future development of mobile phones. It is only limited to the current technological level. Modular electronic products sacrifice too many other experiences in order to achieve modularity. At the same time, there are not really many "replaceable modules". It is far less convenient than just adding peripheral accessories to the mobile phone.

LG’s other flagship product line, the V10 series, has also made a secondary screen, but unlike other manufacturers’ designs on the back, LG V10 puts the secondary screen on the top of the phone, next to the front dual camera, and the visual effect is comparable to today’s Front perforated screen.

But this design is not a perforated screen after all. The secondary screen and the main display cannot be displayed together, and can only be used independently of each other. If the secondary screen is only used to display notifications and time, it is far less useful than AOD.

Even last year, LG's "innovative inspiration" is far from exhausted. It also made a "dual screen phone" LG Wing 5G.

But this time LG may have really thought about how to let users make good use of these two screens. The official has given a lot of usage scenarios where they think users "need" dual-screen phones, and has also optimized some system software for this form. . But unfortunately, LG Wing 5G's pricing for the standard flagship did not bring a good configuration, only equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor.

And a few of them are really useful, for example, you can play videos on the main screen horizontally, and the secondary screen can control the volume, brightness and progress bar; you can also play racing games while watching the "navigation map" on the secondary screen.

Even this design makes mobile phone photography more professional. The horizontal screen can be used as a monitor and the secondary screen can be used as a control page without interfering with each other.

However, I think the appearance of this phone may just be a replica of the classic model KU950 that can watch TV in 2007. LG may really not think of a place to "innovate" and start to "take its roots."

Once was one of the mobile phone giants, why did you fall behind?

As a former head manufacturer, LG has now become Others, which is indeed regrettable.

The mobile phone business, which was originally profitable, has also suffered losses for 23 consecutive quarters. It seems that LG has to stop this "money-burning machine".

In fact, LG's technology is not bad, and it is not that it has not produced good products. Many technologies have also promoted the development of the entire industry. Why did it lose users?

First of all, the price is high. At the beginning, most of the products were benchmarked against Samsung, but LG's product competitiveness was not high. Although it also adopted the latest technology, the top industrial design and the industry's top workmanship. However, the price makes most people "daunt", and the brand can't afford such a high premium, coupled with relying too much on operators for shipments, resulting in almost every new machine becoming the annual "diving king".

Diving is a good thing for digital players. Many digital enthusiasts in China will squat on these second phones and pick up "foreign trash" to play. Although cracking is troublesome, after all, tossing is the fun of geeks. But for companies, not being able to afford the price is indeed a big problem.

The high-end can't afford the price, and the low-end doesn't do "cost-effectiveness". If the high is not the low, the market naturally loses its place. What's more, in the past two years, smartphones have suffered a "market winter", and the Matthew effect has become more and more serious. The strong will remain strong, and the weak will find it harder to have a chance. Large manufacturers have hundreds of R&D personnel in a single imaging department, and can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development for a single sensor, while small manufacturers may not even be able to hold a press conference.

Domestic manufacturers have set up subsidiaries one after another to "kill indiscriminately" all over the world, occupying every price point in the market in an all-round way. The mobile phone brands that can barely survive in the operator channels are not left with scumbags. There are many former kings.

Now, even if they can "survive", they can only make some niche models and survive in the cracks.

But even if LG does not make mobile phones, it is still a supplier in the upstream of the industry chain, but with the rise of BOE and Huaxing Optoelectronics, presumably the future will not be too easy.

However, the good news is that LG’s OLED TVs still maintain a certain leading position, but the software has not embraced the Android system along with other manufacturers. Instead, using its unique webOS, LG has also chosen a different path in another field. Can you have the last laugh?

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Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo