As all eyes turn to MWC 2018, many are looking forward to Samsung’s relatively early announcement of the Galaxy S9 smartphone. In the past, LG usually used MWC 2018 to launch their latest smartphone in their own flagship G series line of devices. This year that is being flipped as LG is waiting until later in the spring to reveal the LG G7. Those plans may have hit a bump in the road according to sources as LG has told the team working on the device to halt development and review the product “from scratch”.
The latest move appears to have occured on the heels of comments by Jo Seong-jin, vice chair and CEO of LG Electronics, during CES 2018 last week. What is not clear is why LG has decided so late in the process to re-examine their plans for the LG G7. Potentially fourth quarter financial results may have played into the decision.
Despite being seen as a major player in the smartphone industry, LG has been struggling to make the business unit a profitable one. LG posted 11 straight quarters of losses from smartphone sales with the streak only ending in the final quarter of 2017. That was probably not enough to change high level management’s views of the business unit.
One of the big challenges facing LG, and increasingly other smartphone manufacturers even at the very top levels, is how to establish a unique selling point for their top-tier phones. These concerns may have been the impetus for comments by Jo indicating he is considering longer market cycles for devices along with changing the traditional spring/fall release schedule for flagship devices. Supposedly even a name change for the flagship devices is on the table.
Internally, LG recently moved the smartphone business unit to be headed up by a vice president, which is considered a downgrade for the unit with the LG corporate structure.
source: The Investor