LG dreams of smartphones [Updated]

LG has decided to reduce its bloated mobile phone lineup by half to around 70 from last year’s 145.

It plans to release 20 sets of smartphones this year with 15 models being Android phones.

He said that 4.2 million phones will be Android-based, while 1.8 million will use Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system, the executive said.

via LG jacks up smartphone sales target to 6 mil.

LG’s already thin margins were wiped out last quarter.

As of the end of the second quarter, Samsung’s global smartphone share was 4.8 percent, according to IDC. But LG’s presence was negligible.

[Update] From early 2009,

LG, the third-biggest phone maker, will produce about 50 models that run Windows over the next five years, said Scott Rockfeld, a director in Microsoft’s mobile business. Seoul-based LG will use the software as its primary program for smart phones, devices that can send e-mail and browse the Web.

Microsoft Signs LG Phone Deal, Updates Windows Mobile (Update1) – Bloomberg.

Why does Microsoft and LG keep talking about how many phone models they will launch? Since when does a large portfolio make up for poor products?

  • mculbertson

    It still amazes me that these hardware manufacturers don't get it. 20 mediocre phones is not a better strategy than building one best possible device.

    The Android fragmentation accelerates!

  • Vega

    Some device producers never learn: When you are using a commodity OS, you cannot differentiate enough and your margins will get squeezed in a race to the bottom. In PCs, this took 10 years, now in the commodity PC market only Microsoft makes real money through Windows licenses. In smartphones, it looks like this process will be dramatically accelerated thanks to the fast adoption of Android by all manufacturers too stupid to write their own software. And the company making real money will be Google through web and mobile ads.

  • The issue with LG isn't simply its slew of devices, although that really hasn't helped. The big is that it spent about two years in denial about smartphones. I went to LG presentations in 2008 where they were insistent most customers would prefer feature-phones like the Viewty rather than smartphones like iPhone and Android. Their view was that apps were less important than hardware features like an exceptional camera, small, smart design and good sound.

    This wasn't a totally stupid bet. After all, LG had a massive hit with the LG Chocolate, and a lesser (but still big) hit with the LG Prada. Feature phones, at the time, were big sellers and delivered decent revenues.

    Unfortunately, though, it led them into thinking this would never change. LG was slow to embrace Android, and its first Android phone (the GW620) was not a great phone – a low-cost, slow phone released just as the standard in Android was moving upwards.

    Can LG recover? I think it will take a massive cultural shift. The company is so entrenched in the "a phone for every need" model of manufacturing that it will be hard for it to focus on a few flagship phones. Having said that, it has better design chops than Samsung, and if it focuses solely on creating well-designed hardware (with stock Android) it could become the Apple of the Android world – high quality, well-designed phones that don't behave in weird ways.

  • Frank

    Look at Sprint, I see so much advertising, everywhere, I thought advertising was for adding customers not losing them. Do people stay with a company because of advertising, I think not, so they are obviously using a large portfolio of advertising to make up for a poor product.

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