LG has shipped 10.3 million smartphones in the first quarter of this year, a record number for the South Korean company.
The South Korean company has a 3.2 per cent market share when it comes to smartphones, standing in the shadow of rivals Apple and Samsung who sit atop the smartphone market leader board. However, high smartphone shipment figures will certainly help LG compete against less prolific manufacturers like Nokia, HTC and BlackBerry.
LG has admitted to TrustedReviews that it is currently “very weak” in the UK smartphone market, due to a delayed entry point behind Apple and Samsung.
“Of course we are very weak in the UK market as we know but it is time for us to start challenging the most difficult market,” said Won Kim, LG Mobile’s Head of European Marketing. “This year we will do something that will give us a good footprint in the UK and then we will be on the right track to be a valuable handset threat.”
“It’s hard to be recognised as a key brand in the market. The two horse race led by Apple and Samsung has been reinforced gradually. It’s not easy for us to shake the lands. It’s definitely not easy and it is getting more and more difficult,” added Kim.
Despite strong smartphone sales, LG saw Q1 operating profits fall to 350 billion won (£204 million) or 13 per cent compared to the same period last year. This figure actually beat analytical predictions of 289 billion won (£169 million), but still fell short of 402 billion won (£235 million) profits of a year ago.
This was due to an 82 per cent profit drop in the LG Home Entertainment division and increasing TV competition from Samsung and other Smart TV manufacturers like Panasonic.
“Since the third quarter of last year, market demand for TVs slowed, intensifying competition and driving down prices as a result,” said LG CFO Jung Do-hyun. “We expect that profitability will recover in the second quarter as new models help recover prices.”
For the future, LG told TrustedReviews it isn’t fazed by the potential threat of an Apple iTV, due to the Cupertino company’s lack of experience in the market.
“If Apple came into the market, yes, of course it would be still competition, no doubt. Everybody would have to say that,” said Andy Mackay, UK Commercial Director of Consumer Electronics at LG. “We are up against some strong premium brands, but I wouldn’t underestimate the power of the brand which are there at the moment because although Apple is a great brand, it would have to establish a pedigree in new areas.”