LG’s mobile division is bleeding money, but the company has plans for a turnaround in the 2020-2021 period. The core of the new strategy is to focus high-end phones where they will be best received and move the production of entry-level and mid-range handsets to ODMs.
The LG V60 ThinQ and other premium flagships will only be available in the North American and European markets where customers don’t shy away from high price tags.
For its home turf, LG will promote the more affordable “mass premium” smartphones with 5G as the South Korean market is more price sensitive. Presumably, this means phones like the LG G9 and similar.
LG will focus on 5G phones in 2020 by exploiting the temporarily weak positions of Apple and Huawei in order to sell as many units as possible in the US, Japan, Korea and Europe. The first 5G-enabled iPhone will arrive only in Q4 this year while Huawei is dealing with the US/China trade war, which limits how many 5G phones they can sell this year.
For the lower end models, LG sees ODMs as the way to go. The plan for this year is to have 20 million phones produced by ODMs out of the estimated 34 million total LG-branded handsets that will be built in 2020.
The overall goal is to recover LG’s original market status by 2021 and return to profitability.