LG’s plans to sell iPhones at LG Best Shop locations in South Korea is facing opposition. Samsung is upset by this and claims such a move would violate an agreement signed by the two companies in 2018, which states that only LG-made phones can be sold at LG-run shops and similarly only Samsung phones can be sold at Samsung shops (this agreement was meant to protect small and mid-sized stores from the two giants).
However, LG is pointing to a clause in the agreement that says that it can be renegotiated in case of major change. And things did indeed change majorly when LG exited the mobile business. The association that initiated the agreement is also questioning LG’s move, but an official agreed that a renegotiation should follow given the circumstances.
Samsung fears that iPhones becoming available at the 400+ LG shops around Korea will threaten the market share of its 5G smartphones. Apple is the largest vendor of 5G phones globally, Samsung is fourth (though growing the fastest). And there are new all-5G iPhone models coming in September or October, just after the LG/Apple deal is supposed to go live (on August 1, allegedly).
Speaking of, the original plan was to sell iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches (no Macs, though, as LG didn’t want competition for its own computers). The latest report is that this has been revised to selling just iPhones.
Samsung is trying to apply pressure to LG indirectly by asking Korea’s three big carriers (among which is LG U+) to demand that LG also carries Galaxy phones in the Best Shop locations. Of course, this deal might face some internal opposition as it can take sales away from Samsung stores.